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1st T20I: Australia vs. New Zealand: Preview, Odds and Best Bets

Thu, Feb 1, 11:04am by Staff Writer

Date and Time: Saturday February 3, 7:20PM AEDT

Venue: SCG, Sydney

TV: Channel Nine

We now hit the T20 leg of the cricket summer and after over two months of international action against the old enemy England, the home side has a new opponent, their Trans-Tasman neighbours New Zealand!

Australia had an excellent Ashes against England, winning in comprehensive fashion 4-0, but were thoroughly outclassed in their first white ball series of the summer, losing 4-1 to England in the series.

It is worth noting that England have not yet returned home and are the third team in what will be the first T20 international tri-series to be held across Australia and New Zealand.

The series will see each team play two matches against each other and after the six round robin games, a final will be held in Eden Park, Auckland on February 21.

The first match of the tournament kicks off this Saturday night with Australia hosting the Kiwis at the Sydney Cricket Ground. New Zealand has been involved with plenty of T20 action over their cricket summer, playing series against both the West Indies and Pakistan.

Against the West Indies they won their 3 game series 2-0, with the game two of the series being abandoned due to wet weather. However in their more recent series against Pakistan, they lost 2-1 and will be keen to rectify that form in Sydney this weekend.

Australia have yet to play any international T20’s this summer but their squad members have been involved with plenty of T20 cricket in the form of the KFC Big Bash League (BBL).

Every player in the Australian squad outside of captain David Warner has featured in the Big Bash with leading BBL run scorer D’Arcy Short (who will make his international debut), Glenn Maxwell and Chris Lynn all taking part in the series.

New Zealand are led by captain Kane Williamson with the headline act of their squad being top order batsman Colin Munro who has been in devastating form this season. A number of newer faces will take part in the series including Tom Bruce, Seth Rance and Anaru Kitchen alongside regulars Ross Taylor, Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

Australia head into the SCG clash a $1.67 favourite with New Zealand paying $2.22 for the win.

With the bat, expected openers David Warner and Aaron Finch lead the highest run scorer markets for Australia at $4.00. Chris Lynn and D’Arcy Short follow at $4.50 and $5.00 respectively while the in-form Marcus Stoinis is paying $8.00, who is expected to bat in the middle order.

For New Zealand, as expected, Colin Munro leads the highest run scorer market at $3.60 with fellow opener Martin Guptill at $4.20 and Kane Williamson $4.33. For value, you can get all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme at $9.50.

With the ball, fresh off his maiden five wicket haul for Australia in the fifth one dayer against England, Andrew Tye is an overwhelming favourite at $3.00 for highest Australian wicket taker. Kane Richardson, who has taken 8 wickets in his past two BBL games for the Melbourne Renegades is second favourite alongside leg-spinner Adam Zampa and express quick Billy Stanlake at $5.00.

Number one T20I bowler in the world Ish Sodhi leads the highest wicket taker market for New Zealand at $3.60, followed by fellow spinner Mitchell Santner at $4.50 and pace duo Trent Boult and Tim Southee at $5.00.

With Australia not the most reliable when it comes to T20 international cricket and New Zealand having played plenty of games in the format over the past month, it is hard to overlook the Kiwis at $2.22 for the victory.

However, with the game being played in Australia and the Kiwi’s fresh in the country, the safe bet is to go with an Australian victory at $1.67. For value, it is worth looking at the Man of the Match betting option in this game.

Being one of the premier batsmen in T20 cricket and not an active participant of the BBL due to international cricket commitments, this game presents an ideal opportunity for David Warner to showcase his tremendous skills in the format. Coming off a lackluster one day series against England, the new format and new opponent may revitalise him on the field.

Given opening batsmen are often match winners in this format, David Warner as man of the match is our suggested bet for this game.

Suggested Bet: David Warner – Man of the Match @ $8

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