It was almost an year ago when New Zealand defeated Australia by 1 wicket at Eden Park, Auckland during their 2015 World Cup encounter and clinched the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy. The Kiwis will hope for a similar result when they take on the Aussies at the same venue on February 3, 2016 for the opening game of the 3-match One-Day International series. Australia are arriving after registering a 4-1 ODI series win over India at home, while New Zealand too will carry their winning spree after winning the recent ODI series against Pakistan 2-0. The home team will be riding high on confidence as they've recently won their previous match against Pakistan on the same ground by chasing a Duckworth-Lewis revised target of 263 runs in 43 overs.
It's going to be a big event as two of the top ranked teams face-off on February 3. Cricket fans around the world would be following this ODI series closely as it would reveal the preparations of both the teams for the upcoming World T20 series in India. While experts of the game are placing high betting odds on New Zealand, it won't be fair to say that Australia will start off as underdogs. After all, they are the reigning world champions in the 50-over format.
It's good news for the Kiwi camp as Brendon McCullum returns to the squad from injury for the forthcoming ODI series. His experience and ruthless batting will power up an already solid looking batting line-up. Match practice or not, considering the kind of record he possesses in the limited overs format, he is definitely one of the players in the world you would want to put your money on. Martin Guptill also impressed with the bat, scoring 82 runs in the final ODI against Pakistan. Kane Williamson made the most runs for his team in the tournament and is also worth wagering on.
New Zealand's bowling squad for the upcoming ODI series looks pretty impressive on paper. Though pacers Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan won't be available due to injuries, the Kiwis have enough firepower in Trent Boult, Corey Anderson, Doug Bracewell and Mitchell Santner. Trent Boult stood out with an outstanding bowling performance in the previous series. He finished being the highest wicket taker for his side and grabbed the best bowling figures, another player with high betting odds in his favor.
Australia have suffered 4 consecutive losses at the hands of India during their recently concluded tournament at home. Having lost their previous 50-over game in front of their home crowd, there will be some alarm bells ringing in the Aussie camp. Their successive defeats is, without a doubt, a cause for concern and the visitors will have to sort out their issues quickly if they are to challenge the mighty-looking Kiwis on their home turf.
As far as betting odds are concerned, it is Steven Smith among the batsmen who seems to be in a good form and a favorite among online bettors. Accumulating 315 runs including a top score of 149 in 5 ODI innings, he was the highest run scorer for Australia. David Warner had a good run in the series and made a brilliant 122 in the Sydney ODI. He too is expected to do well with the bat in New Zealand. The Aussie bowling line-up couldn't do much damage to their opposition this time around. John Hastings was the only bright spot who picked up 10 wickets to become the leading wicket taker of the tournament. His ability to deceive the batsman makes him a class bowler and is a great choice for placing a bet in the 1st game against New Zealand.
With a 2-1 series victory in the 20-over format and a 2-0 ODI series win over Pakistan, New Zealand are the favorites to win their first match against the arch-rivals Australia. If the home conditions, the winning momentum and recent performance of the players are all taken into account, it is hard to imagine the Kiwis going down. But Australia on the other hand, no matter how depleted they seem to be at the moment, are not called the world champions for nothing. This a fresh tournament and the visitors will go all out to go 1-up in this 3-game series and put the pressure on the home team.
Betting odds for New Zealand vs Australia 1st ODI:
Betting odds:- NZ - 2.28 ; AUS - 1.62
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