Australia shall be taking on arch-rivals New Zealand in the Group A encounter of the Champions Trophy on Friday. The match is scheduled to commence at 3:00 pm (IST) at Edgbaston, England.
The two sides locked horns against each other in the grand finale of the 2015 ICC World Cup. In the past six months alone they have played two Chappell-Hadlee series: Australia won in Australia and New Zealand won in New Zealand.
The cricketing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand is ranked as one of the toughest battles in international cricket. Dubbed as the 'Trans-Tasman' rivalry, the teams from Down Under shall leave no stone unturned when it comes to playing each other at the international stage.
Australia is of the most successful teams in the Champions Trophy history, winning the title twice in 2006 and 2009. Meanwhile, New Zealand have been one of the most consistent sides in the tournament, winning the title in 2000 besides ending up as runner-up in 2009.
The Australian team is being considered as one of the hot favourites to win the title. The Aussies look a formidable force with heavy arsenal in both batting and bowling. The batting is studded with explosive openers in David Warner and Aaron Finch. The ever consistent Steven Smith shall be the lynchpin of the middle order. The middle order looks destructive with power hitters in Chris Lynn, Travis Head and Glen Maxwell.
The pace attack has heavy artillery with genuine pacers in Mitchell Starc, Jos Hazelwood, John Hastings, James Pattinson and Pat Cummins. Meanwhile, the seam attack shall be well complimented by the medium pace of Marcus Stoinis. Australia is going in with the lone spinner Adam Zampa who has impressed most with a bagful of tricks in the limited overs format.
New Zealand is a very dangerous side in the limited-overs format with a good balance in batting and bowling.The Kiwis have a power packed batting line up with openers in Martin Guptill and Tom Latham who can tear apart any attack. They have loads of experience in the middle with the seasoned Ross Taylor. The classy stroke maker Kane Williamson is the lynchpin of the middle order.
The side has quality allrounders in Corey Anderson and Jimmy Neesham who can be equally destructive with bat and ball. The Kiwis have a formidable pace attack in Trent Boult, Adam Milne and Mitchell McClenaghan. The spin department shall be taken care off by Mitchell Santner.
So two powerhouses of one day cricket shall unleash every possible weapon against each other to get off their tourney campaign to a winning start.