Qantas Tour of NZ 2018

Stars warn of Eden Park's seduction

Australia and New Zealand wary of being seduced by short straight boundaries at Auckland fortress

Louis Cameron in Auckland

15 February 2018, 06:05 PM AEST

They're two of the most feared limited-overs batsmen in the world but both Aaron Finch and Martin Guptill have a warning for first-time visitors to one of international cricket's most unusual venues – don't get sucked in by the short straight boundaries.

With Australia set to play two T20s in the space of six days at Auckland's Eden Park having already booked their spot in T20 tri-series decider, the visitors sized up the rectangular venue - traditionally used for rugby union - on the eve of their last group-stage match against the Black Caps.

Finch on batting down the order and Maxwell's form

In a bid to get to grips with the unique dimensions, Australia's T20 squad paired up and took turns hitting high balls to each other as they worked their way around each part of the ground.

While coming to terms with Eden Park’s unusual proportions is important for fielders unaccustomed to them, Finch explained that batters also need to be wary of becoming preoccupied by the close proximity of the straight boundaries.

"It does excite you but it's also caused me a few issues in the past," Finch said.

"I've got a bit carried away (previously) and you tend to think a bit too far ahead in my experience.

"You find that you start thinking everything in boundaries and sixes as opposed to just sticking to your game plan because those shots naturally come anyway.

"It can be inviting for guys who come here first time and we've talked about that. There's guys who've had a bit of experience here now so hopefully we don't fall into that trap again and we can just play some good cricket."

Guptill looking forward to trans-Tasman showdown

Of Australia's 14-player T20 squad, six players – Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Travis Head and Kane Richardson – have played at the Auckland venue before.

Stoinis crunched 11 sixes in Australia's last visit to Eden Park but the allrounder rightly pointed out on Wednesday that the ground isn’t always necessarily a batting haven.

Only three of the last 18 one-day internationals played at the ground have seen the side batting first reach 300, though there have been two 200-plus totals in the past six T20 internationals at the ground.

One of the most memorable ODIs in recent memory was the Australia-New Zealand clash at Eden Park in the 2015 World Cup, where the Kiwis prevailed by one wicket in a low-scoring epic.

"It's a funny one, a lot of guys get caught on straight boundaries here, looking for that short boundary," Guptill said.

Maximum Marcus Stoinis smashes 11 sixes

"I've fallen to it many times. It’s about playing each ball and just reacting really."

Eden Park has also earned a reputation as one of the more hostile venues around the world for visiting sides, and coach Darren Lehmann is said to have had a fish hurled at him while playing an ODI at the ground.

"I think 'Boof' got the big salmon thrown at him when he was playing, (it) hit him in the back," a smiling Finch said.

"They're just a passionate crowd, aren't they? Once New Zealand get on top in a game they become such a huge factor.

"We saw in that World Cup game here when New Zealand beat us that the crowd was just unbelievable.

"They get stuck into you which is pretty good banter at times. It is a great place to play. The crowd feel right on top of you as well.

"We haven't won here for a while ... but that's something we want to change."

Stoinis returns to Eden Park as T20 series continues

Australia will wait until the toss on Friday to finalise their XI. Stand-in captain David Warner flew into Auckland to re-join his T20 teammates on Thursday after a brief rest back in Sydney.

While the tourists will be loath to tinker with a side that's unbeaten through their three games so far this series, they could hand a debut to left-armer Ben Dwarshuis, or recall leg-spinner Adam Zampa or batsman Travis Head for the clash.

Trans-Tasman T20 Tri-Series

First T20I Australia beat New Zealand by seven wickets. Scorecard

Second T20I Australia beat England by five wickets. Scorecard

Third T20I Australia beat England by seven wickets. Scorecard

Fourth T20I New Zealand beat England by 12 runs. Scorecard

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21

Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.