Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket have strengthened ties in recent times, leading to a resurgence of the trans-Tasman series. A deal struck at the height of the 2015 World Cup festivities saw a commitment to stage six Chappell-Hadlee one-day series over four years between 2016 and 2020, of which these next three games are the second series.
Each series will be three matches – a total of 18 games in the time frame – with New Zealand to host three more, and this being the first of two series in Australia.
First ODI: Sunday, December 4, SCG, Sydney, 2.20pm AEDT
Second ODI: Tuesday, December 6, Manuka Oval, Canberra, 2.20pm AEDT
Third ODI: Friday, December 9, MCG, Melbourne, 2.20pm AEDT
We may have just seen a fairly significant overhaul of the Test team, but it's much the same for the world No.1 ranked ODI side. After a mid-year spell out of the team, Glenn Maxwell is back, while the return of pace ace Pat Cummins has pushed 2016's leading wicket-taker in one-day cricket, John Hastings, to the sidelines.
Squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), George Bailey, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa
New Zealand enter the series with some injury concerns, but have passed Trent Boult and Martin Guptill fit to play. The unknown X-factor for the Black Caps is Lockie Ferguson, a 22-year-old unheralded fast bowler said to be capable of topping 150kph. But when the Australians are facing Starc and Cummins in the nets day in and day out, it remains to be seen how much of a shock factor that raw pace will be.
Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, BJ Watling.
What's gone down since the last ODI in Oz?
While you spent the winter watching egg-shaped ball codes, the one-day juggernaut has been rolling on. Until just recently that is, when for the first time ever the men in Floppy Gold were whitewashed in a five-match series in South Africa.
But let's backtrack: after handing India a hiding in last summer's one-day series, the Aussie boys made the short jump across the Tasman for the first Chappell-Hadlee series after the 2015 World Cup. A solid win in Wellington was sandwiched by defeats in Auckland and Hamilton as the Black Caps claimed the series, inspired to a fitting farewell by the international retirement of Kiwi legend Brendon McCullum. See below for a closer look at the last time these two teams met.
In the midst of winter, Australia made a brief sightseeing stop off in New York en route to the Caribbean, where they welcomed back Mitchell Starc who had by now recovered from foot surgery. He promptly set a new world record for the fastest bowler ever to 100 ODI wickets.
In a tri-series with the West Indies and South Africa, Steve Smith's men overcame some early hiccups to thump the host nation in the final by 58 runs and add another piece of silverware the cabinet.
After a horror Test tour in Sri Lanka, the switch back to the white ball proved a much needed tonic with a 4-1 series win. Sri Lanka all-timer Tillakaratne Dilshan played his final ODI, but the campaign was not without drama. First, Australia dropped a selection bombshell by dropping Glenn Maxwell. Steve Smith, long scheduled for a rest after a gruelling first 12 months as the full-time captain of all three formats, was sent home following the second ODI, prompting an outcry from various quarters.
Quick Single: Smith decision prudent to prevent burnout
Unperturbed, David Warner captained Australia for the first time, leading the tourists to three successive wins to claim the series on low, slow and spinning decks.
Australia welcomed back Smith for the trip to Africa, but with an eye on a heavy home summer opted to rest fast bowlers Starc and Josh Hazlewood. That meant a fast bowling attack made up of Scott Boland, Daniel Worrall and Joe Mennie to complement the tried and tested John Hastings – the leading wicket-taker in ODI cricket in 2016.
Things started well with a good win against Ireland, and with the Proteas' AB de Villiers ruled out early, Australia must have fancied their chances. Instead, they were torn apart by the Proteas. Australia passed 300 just the once, and were bowled out for 167 in Port Elizabeth and 219 in Johannesburg, both times in less than 38 overs.
Since last playing at home, Australia have won five, lost five and had one washed out for no result. While they still hold onto the World No.1 ranking, the grasp isn't as firm as it could be and the unthinkable – a 3-0 home defeat to the Kiwis – would see Australia relinquish top spot.
It's a case of 'don't mention the war' when talking about trans-Tasman clashes, but we've come a long way since that underarm delivery in 1981.
The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy was officially introduced in 2004 and had been contested at least once a year until Australia beat New Zealand at the 2011 World Cup in Nagpur.
The trophy had lain dormant until revived for the epic Eden Park clash between the sides during the pool stage of the 2015 World Cup, which New Zealand won in dramatic fashion.
The World Cup Final – won by Australia, lest anyone forget – was not a Chappell-Hadlee match, meaning the Black Caps finished the tournament with one piece of silverware at least.
The teams have met for one ODI series since the World Cup, which brings us neatly to…
The last time they met
New Zealand are the defending champions of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy. In fact, the Black Caps have won it the past two times it has been up for grabs, with the World Cup final in between.
In a three-match series last February, Martin Guptill set the tone early by launching Kane Richardson onto the Eden Park roof in a whirlwind 90. With 307 on the board, Trent Boult and Matt Henry ripped the Aussies apart in Auckland – all out for 148 – in a massive 159-run win.
In the second, Australia orchestrated their highest successful run-chase on New Zealand soil, with 98 from David Warner backed up superbly by an unbeaten 69 from Mitchell Marsh in a four-wicket win in Wellington.
That set-up a thrilling decider in Hamilton, with Brendon McCullum blasting 47 from just 27 balls in typical fashion to bid farewell to the international game. Mitch Marsh looked set to guide Australia home again until controversy struck – a squeezed shot rebounded off his boot and was caught by the bowler, Henry, but the umpires referred the decision to the third umpire only after sighting a big-screen replay. NZ subsequently wrapped up the tail to send McCullum out on a high
Watch these men
Believe it or not for a man who's played 18 one-day matches for Australia, Adam Zampa will be turning out in the Floppy Gold on home soil for the very first time. We've seen plenty of him in the KFC Big Bash League and he's impressed enough for there to be a clamour for him to be rushed into the Test team from some quarters. Zampa is quietly going about his business, and rarely celebrates wickets with much more than a clap but there's something quite beguiling about watching a leg-spinner weave his magic.
One of the absolute must-watch men when he's batting, the Victorian is almost just as hard to take your eyes off in the field. Unbelievable athleticism, with a knack for being involved in ridiculous catches either side of the boundary rope, he is a genuine X-factor for the Australians. He was below his best in New Zealand and got dropped from the side in Sri Lanka. But back on home soil, with a new selection panel in charge, and with a point to prove, it's very much a case of watch this space for 'Maxi'.
Colin de Grandhomme
A moustachioed throwback to the 1970s – or perhaps at least the 2005 inaugural T20 international between these two teams – Colin de Grandhomme has just recently burst onto the Black Caps scene. A Test debut against Pakistan in November turned into a man of the match performance, and he's never far from the action. Bustling in with good pace and unafraid to give the ball an almighty wallop. All he needs is a terry-towelling hat.
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