Thursday, February 2, 2017
Start time 1400 local (0100 GMT)
New Zealand’s relief at Eden Park can become series-winning joy in Napier – if the weather holds © Getty Images
As the world waits to see whether or not Marcus Stoinis has another performance in him to rank with what he produced at Eden Park, the rest of Australia’s patchwork team know they cannot again perform as they did in game one and expect to level the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in Napier. The visitors were presentable with the ball but sloppy in the field, dropping plenty of chances and allowing New Zealand to wriggle to a defensible total. Then in the pursuit, Stoinis’ brilliance obscured the collapse of the top order in a fashion that could have been an action replay of Australia’s previous two visits to Auckland. Aaron Finch, the stand-in captain for the previous stand-in Matthew Wade, is in need of runs to press his case for inclusion the next time Australia pick an ODI squad – namely for the Champions Trophy in England.
The loss of Martin Guptill is a major one for New Zealand, but the hosts at least know they had a broad cross-section of contributors in the opening match. Kane Williamson will be hoping one of his batsmen can go on to a hundred this time around, while the bowling attack will be eager to repeat their early spells to Australia’s top order. Lockie Ferguson’s pace made for a challenging change-bowling option after Tim Southee and Trent Boult, while Mitchell Santner’s left-arm spin was also useful. However the targeting of Jimmy Neesham by Stoinis will be a cause for thought, as will the Australian allrounder’s star burst of sixes against all the bowlers at the pointy end of the match. More yorkers and fewer length balls would appear a straightforward solution to that particular question.
(last five completed matches, most recent first)
New Zealand: WWWWL
In the spotlight
Having conjured the winning run-out in Auckland, Kane Williamson will want to back that moment of composure with substantial runs in Napier. The importance of Williamson’s next innings has only grown with the absence of Martin Guptill due to injury, depriving the hosts of their most obviously destructive top order figure. While Williamson’s method relies more on placement than power, he is capable of accelerating once he’s made a start – New Zealand will hope he can go further than he did at Eden Park, where he made 24.
It was little more than a week ago that Peter Handscomb was making his ODI debut for Australia in Perth. Now he is the wicketkeeper for the remainder of this series with Wade flying home to rest his injured back. Handscomb struggled behind the stumps on short notice in game one, and the contrast with Tom Latham’s neater work was a key reason for Australia’s defeat. Having had more time to prepare for the gig this time around he can be expected to do better, both with the gloves and the bat.
Dean Brownlie, who has recast himself as an opener in recent times, will take the place of the injured Martin Guptill, and Tom Latham is set to keep the gloves after impressing at Eden Park.
New Zealand (possible) 1 Dean Brownlie, 2 Tom Latham (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Neil Broom, 6 Colin Munro, 7 James Neesham, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Lockie Ferguson, 11 Trent Boult.
Adam Zampa will be considered for Australia and Sam Heazlett is also likely to be retained.
Australia (possible) 1 Aaron Finch (capt), 2 Travis Head, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Pete Handscomb, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Sam Heazlett, 7 Marcus Stoinis, 8 James Faulkner, 9 Pat Cummins, 10 Mitchell Starc, 11 Josh Hazlewood.
Pitch and conditions
McLean Park is experimenting with a drop-in pitch this season with a view to digging up the entire square to turn the ground into a multi-purpose venue. However, the ODI track will come from the traditional pitch block. Showers are forecast for Napier on Thursday.
Stats and trivia
- This will be Dean Brownlie’s first appearance for New Zealand in more than two years.
- New Zealand won the most recent meeting between the two sides at McLean Park in 2010. Each side has won twice at the ground in their four encounters since the first one in 1998.
“I’m aware if I do get the chance I’m warming Guptill’s seat but it’s also an opportunity to play against a very good side, which I’ve always enjoyed. Hopefully if I get a shot I can make a good contribution.”
Dean Brownlie is eager for his chance
“I’m really frustrated, I’d love to be out there. It was hard to sit there and watch the other day and it’s going to be the same tomorrow. It just hasn’t pulled up as quick as what I want. The travel probably hasn’t helped with that.
Matthew Wade on missing a series he was slated to lead Australia in
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo