New Zealand currently hold the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy they had won by beating Australia in the group stage of ICC World Cup 2015. Now, Australia have travelled to New Zealand to battle it out for the prestigious trophy.
New Zealand will lock horns with Australia in the frst ODI of the series at the Eden Park Stadium in Auckland on 3 Ferbruary, Wednesday.
Australia will be confident after comprehensively defeating India (4-1) in the ODI series recently, and have not made many changes to their side.
But the Aussies need to be wary of the fact that the Kiwis have won their last four bilateral ODI series at home.
Brendon McCullum is playing his last ODI series as skipper of New Zealand. He will retire at the end of the season. The Black Caps will look to give the veteran a fitting farewell. McCullum is totally aware that this is a series of high magnitude and a win here series would give the Kiwi side a much-needed boost ahead of ICC World T20 2016, which will be held in India in March.
"There's obviously going to be a few nerves tomorrow when you're playing in a big series and hopefully if we can settle early then we can resort back to that even temper that we've played with throughout this summer and last summer as well," McCullum was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.
New Zealand will be fielding as many as eight players from the World Cup 2015 final in this series, apart from Tim Southee, Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori. Steve Smith's side only has five players from that World Cup final. Smith feels it will be a good challenge taking on the upbeat Black Caps at the latter's backyard.
"New Zealand are a very good one-day side; they have played particularly well here at home. I guess for us we've got quite a different side to the one who faced them in the World Cup final, so it is a big challenge for us but we're really looking forward to it," Smith said.
The wicket is a drop-in one and is likely to be high-scoring, just like James Faulkner was saying the other day. The boundaries are not that long, and batsmen from either sides will fancy their chances. There are no chances of showers on Wednesday, so one can expect a full game of cricket.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (C), Matrin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi (wk), Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.
Australia: Steven Smith (C), Shaun Marsh, David Warner, George Bailey, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade (wk), James Faulkner, John Hastings, Kane Richardson, Josh Hazlewood.
Where to watch live:
The 1st ODI of the three-match series between New Zealand and Australia is scheduled for a 2 pm local time (6:30 am IST and 1 am GMT) start. Unfortunately, there will be no live coverage of the game in India.
Audience in the UK can tune into Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports HD 2 to watch New Zealand vs Australia 1st ODI live. Watch Sky Sports will live stream the match at the same time.
Fans in New Zealand can watch New Zealand vs Australia 1st ODI on SkySport.
US viewers can tune into Willow TV. They can also live-stream the 1st ODI on Willow TV online.