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Australia favourites for ODIs in NZ despite poor recent record

Sun, Jan 29, 10:48am by Senior Writer

Australia go into this week’s three-match one-day international series against New Zealand as favourites despite missing their two most important players in dynamic batsman David Warner and captain Steve Smith.

The markets have Australia as $1.80 favourites to win the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series which starts on Monday AEDT and takes in games in Auckland, Napier and Hamilton over the space of seven days. New Zealand are at $2.

These two teams contested this trophy on Australian soil just two months ago with Australia dominating the series and winning 3-0. But the loss of Warner and Smith is significant, as that pair scored 535 of Australia’s 966 runs in that series, with Warner making two centuries and Smith one.

Matthew Wade will captain the Australian side, becoming Australia’s 27th one-day captain after an ankle injury sidelined Smith, with Sam Heazlett included in the Australian squad. Aaron Finch returns after missing the Pakistani series, which Australia won 4-1, as does Shaun Marsh. That pair are the only players in the squad over 30.

Warner and Usman Khawaja have been rested to focus on the upcoming tour of India, but frontline pace duo Mitch Starc and Josh Hazelwood will play.

New Zealand’s squad will be similar to that which toured Australia, with experienced Ross Taylor a key addition, replacing Jeetan Patel, while young keeper Tom Blundell is in line for a one-day debut.

With no Smith and Warner, Finch leads the market for the leading Australia series run scorer at $3.60 with Marsh at $4 and Travis Head, who scored a century in the most recent ODI match in Adelaide, ate $4.50.

Starc is $3 favourite to get the most wickets for Australia in the series, having claimed that honour in the Pakistan series, while Hazelwood is $4 and Pat Cummins $4.50.

Kane Williamson, who made just 103 runs in the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series in December, is $3 favourite to lead the scoring for the Black Caps, with Martin Guptill, who led NZ when they were in Australia, at $4.50, and Tom Latham ($5) and Ross Taylor ($6) also in the market.

Experienced pace pair Trent Boult and Tim Southee are at $3 to be NZ’s leading wicket takers across the three matches. They took just eight wickets between them in the most recent Chappell-Hadlee series.

Australia’s recent ODI record in New Zealand will be a concern for anyone wanting to take the $1.80 about them winning this series. They have lost four of their past five matches there, including a 2-1 defeat in the corresponding series 12 months ago. Going back further, Australia have lost nine of their past 13 ODI matches on New Zealand soil.

Australia are $1.77 to win the first match in Auckland which seems skinny when you consider they have lost twice at Eden Park in the last two years.

They were embarrassed there 12 months ago, losing by 164 runs in the series opener, while two years ago, the Black Caps won a dramatic World Cup match by just one wicket. Australia made just 151 in that match and just 148 12 months later.

While you’d expect a much better batting performance this time around, the absence of Warner and Smith is significant. Meanwhile the Black Caps got some confidence back by winning three ODIs, three T20s and two Test against Bangladesh over the past month.

With that in mind, the $2.06 about them winning the opener at Eden Park, where they are on a four-match winning streak, looks a good bet.

Suggested Bet: New Zealand to win the series opener at $2.06

Sportsbet Series market

Australia $1.80

New Zealand $2

Series Correct Score 

Australia 3-0 $5.50

Australia 2-1 $2.30

New Zealand 3-0 $8

New Zealand 2-1 $2.60

Top Australia Series Wicket Taker 

Mitchell Starc $3

Josh Hazlewood $4

Pat Cummins $4.50

James Faulkner $6

Adam Zampa $8

Billy Stanlake $10

Travis Head $18

Marcus Stoinis $26

Glenn Maxwell $34

Top New Zealand Series Wicket Taker 

Trent Boult $3

Tim Southee $3

Matt Henry $7

Mitchell Santner $9

Lockie Ferguson $9

James Neesham $10

Colin de Grandhomme $12

Kane Williamson $21

Top Australia Series Runscorer 

Aaron Finch $3.60

Shaun Marsh $4

Travis Head $4.50

Peter Handscomb $6.50

Glenn Maxwell $8

Sam Heazlett $8

Marcus Stoinis $18

Matthew Wade $18

James Faulkner $34

Pat Cummins $101

Mitchell Starc $101

Josh Hazlewood $251

Billy Stanlake $251

Adam Zampa $251

Top New Zealand Series Runscorer 

Kane Williamson $3

Martin Guptill $4.50

Tom Latham $5

Ross Taylor $6

Neil Broom $7

James Neesham $13

Colin Munro $13

Tom Blundell $21

Colin de Grandhomme $26

Mitchell Santner $51

Tim Southee $251

Lockie Ferguson $251

Trent Boult $251

Matt Henry $251

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