Australia have never whitewashed New Zealand in the Chappel-Hadlee series, but the Aussies will get a huge chance to do that when they take on the Black Caps in the third and final ODI series at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday. Australia have already won the series 2-0 after some brilliant performance in the two ODIs, and they will be keen to continue that impressive form, especially their batsmen, who have been in great touch.
Though Australia have already clinched the series, one does not see many changes in the home team's squad in the third ODI. It remains to be seen if they will rest any of their key fast bowlers considering that they have an important series against Pakistan next.
Irrespective of whether they make changes or not, Australia have a strong squad capable of defeating the Black Caps third-time straight in a span of five days.
It is Australia's batting, which has stood tall in the two matches so far. Steve Smith and David Warner scored a ton in the first and second ODI respectively to steer their team to a huge total, and the bowlers backed their batsmen with some good bowling. Another similar quality of all-round cricket and New Zealand can be in all sorts of trouble.
The Black Caps should be disappointed with their back-to-back losses, and they will be keen to finish the series with a bang. New Zealand batsmen have been under pressure in both the ODIs, chasing scores in excess of 320 runs. If they get a chance to bat first, they can score some good runs, turn the tables around, and ask Australia to chase that target, it is not going to be easy in the second innings for the home team as well with pressure of required run rate.
New Zealand need contribution from all their players, not just from their regular stars like Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson. Their bowlers have to use the new ball to their advantage and dismiss the strong top order of Australia early on to increase their chances of finishing the series on a high, at least with a win.
Wicket-keeper BJ Watling wants New Zealand to play better cricket in the third ODI.
"We just want to get better. We want to improve from those last two performances. We weren't at our best and if we can do a few things better and put them under some pressure we'll be better off for it," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Watling as saying.
Where to watch live
Australia vs New Zealand third ODI is scheduled for 2:20 pm local time (3:20 am GMT, 8:50 am IST) start.
India: TV - Star Sports 2/HD 2. Live streaming - Hotstar
Australia: TV - Channel 9. Live streaming - Channel 9 live
New Zealand: TV: Sky Sport 1.
UK: TV - BT Sport Europe.