Qantas T20 Tour of NZ 2021
Aussies to learn from Kiwi swing kings
Australia will aim to keep it simple if they get a ball and conditions that are conducive swing bowling
23 February 2021, 09:59 AM AEST
Australia were on the other end of a swing bowling masterclass last night in Christchurch that took the tourists by surprise in their T20 loss to the Black Caps.
Swing kings Trent Boult and Tim Southee wrecked Australia's top order in the run chase, reducing them to 4-19 inside five overs to all but seal victory in the series opener.
The hosts had the moving ball on a string as they packed the slips cordon during the Powerplay and proved too good for the visiting batters, who were fresh out of two weeks of hotel quarantine.
Australia paceman Jhye Richardson bowled with the new ball in the first innings but he and his teammates could barely get it to swing, unlike his rivals, who moved the ball in the air deep into Australia's innings.
While he would have undoubtedly preferred to see Boult and Southee go the journey against Australia's top order, the right-armer said it was good to watch the Kiwi pair put on an exhibition of swing bowling.
"They just kept it really simple, didn't they?" Richardson said today. "How often do you see three slips in a T20?
"We probably didn't expect the ball to swing for that long and that much to be honest. (It) didn't really swing that much in our innings.
"It was a little bit of a surprise but knowing that now, it's something we'll keep in the back of our mind going into the next game.
"(They are) two class bowlers and we saw them keep it really simple while the ball was swinging, just bowling a really nice line and length and making us make mistakes."
This is meant to be a T20 - the cordon is packed! Live scores: https://t.co/pxsTbX2PyW #NZvAUS pic.twitter.com/gHXEYio8Bw— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 22, 2021
The white Kookaburra ball isn't known for swinging for more than a handful of overs, but the New Zealand seamers had their ball curving well past the Powerplay at Hagley Oval.
Australia's pace attack – Richardson, Kane Richardson and Daniel Sams – are all capable of swinging the new ball but found little movement on Monday evening when the sun was setting after the Aussies elected to field first.
That changed for the Kiwis, who bowled under lights as the dew set in, a factor Richardson believes helped the locals find consistent swing.
"I think it (swinging the ball) is conducive to the conditions as much as it is anything else," he said.
"With the dew coming in and a bit of moisture coming around, it just helped the ball move through the air.
"It's hard to say. Some T20s the balls swing and some it doesn't.
"It's hard to say it's a technique thing when previously we know Daniel Sams can swing the ball a lot, Kane Richardson as well can swing the ball in.
"It just didn't happen for us last night."
Richardson was the pick of Australia's bowlers last night, taking 2-31 from four overs in his first game since the KFC BBL final loss to the Sydney Sixers.
Richardson was the leading wicket-taker in BBL|10 with 29 scalps but finished the season on a low note, going for more than 10 runs per over in his last five games while picking up four wickets.
The 24-year-old said he has had time to reflect on his campaign with the Perth Scorchers and take the pressure off in his first game for Australia for 12 months.
"I wasn't, surprisingly, as nervous as I would have liked," Richardson said about his comeback game for Australia.
"I think I had plenty of time at the end of the Big Bash and now to think about how I was going about my last few Big Bash games, putting myself under a lot of pressure.
"I had a lot of time to think and reflect on that and I went into the game really wanting to enjoy myself and not put myself under so much pressure because I know what I've done to get to this point. I can trust that.
"I just went out there yesterday with the sole focus of trying to enjoy myself and certainly did."
Qantas T20I tour of New Zealand 2021
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, D'Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, *Martin Guptill (pending fitness test), Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee. *Finn Allen (on stand-by for Guptill)
1st T20: New Zealand won by 53 runs
All matches will be shown live in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo