Thursday, December 13, 2007

Australia vs New Zealand 1st ODI: Detailed Preview

The first ODI match of Australia vs New Zealand ODI series will take place at the Adelaide Oval cricket stadium on 14 December. This is the first match of Chappell-Hadlee Trophy 2007-2008. Touring New Zealand has already lost the only Twenty20 match by 54 runs. So, Australia bagged the Twenty20 trophy. Now, Australia eyes on ODI series. Earlier this year, Australia lost the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy 2006-2007 being whitewashed in New Zealand. So, the upcoming series is the mission for Australia not only to retain the trophy but also take the revenge of that humiliation.

Australia is undoubtedly the most dominant team in the cricket world at this moment; whether it is in test or ODI. Though they failed to win the Twenty20 world cup this year, it does not mean that they are less strong in this form of cricket. Australia won the last three ODI world cups. There is hardly any success in cricket that Australia could not achieve in the last decade. Australian team showed the same dominance in both Test and ODI.

New Zealand, in contrast, is always considered as one of the cricket powers and favorites in any major cricket tournament. However, most of the time they have failed to live up to the expectation. What becomes an advantage for New Zealand is that they always play as a team. They do not have so many stars but their unity provides everything for them. However, at this moment, New Zealand cricket is in transforming from one era to another. Some of their key players have gone into retirement. Nathan Astle, Craig Mcmillan, Chris Harris have retired from international cricket within last few years. Long time captain Stephen Fleming has also retired from ODI cricket after the end of ICC World Cup 2007. So, within a short time, New Zealand lost some of the influential cricketers and that void has not yet filled up in the team.

New Zealand started this year superbly. However, to be honest, they seem to be fragile. They have failed to show any resistance against South Africa in the recent series. The key players have failed to perform and thus it seems that they have to go through a tough time in Australia.

Now, ahead of the first ODI of the series, New Zealand must be inspired to play well in order to hold the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy 2007-2008. Captain Daniel Vettor has to lead his team and must inspire his men to outperform Australia. Jacob Oram is now in good form. Other senior players including Lou Vincent, Scott Styris, Kyle Mills need to perform well in the series. So, New Zealand has to appear as a team and all the players need to contribute to the team. You know that ace fast bowler Shane Bond is now out of the team due to his injury. In the Australian seaming condition, New Zealand will miss him.

For Australia, it is all about a champion team. They are winning everything in their way and gradually becoming stronger. However, ahead of the first ODI, Australia has bad news for the fans. Star all rounder Andrew Symonds is unlike for the first ODI due to his ankle injury. Ricky Ponting is missing this series and Michael Clarke has been named new captain of Australian team. Stuart Clark and Brett Lee can be dangerous for the New Zealand team. Among the batsmen Michael Hussey, Adam Gilchrist, Michael Clarke are enough to demolish the opposition bowling in their days. So, New Zealand bowlers have to keep special eye on these batsmen.

Anyway, both the teams have so many talents that you can expect some mind bowling matches from this series. I hope to see an exciting Australia vs New Zealand ODI series. Let us see which team is going to win the series.

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