ODI series preview: New Zealand v Australia


Australia and New Zealand have not played an ODI series against each other in more than five years, the last in 2010, but the teams are very different beasts now and a tough series is expected.

The three matches will be the first since they played in the World Cup final last year, which Australia won with relative ease. The Kiwis had won the groups stage clash, mind you.

The hosts have skipper Brendon McCullum back in the side after his injury picked up in December. This will be his final ODI series before he retires after the Tests that follow these games. Kane Williamson has one hand on the armband.

Speaking of Williamson, the Aussies have acknowledged that they don't really have a plan for the batsman, aside from 'don't let him score runs'. Not the best strategy, but no team has managed to thwart him recently. He scored five half tons in the nine matches he played in January.

The hosts are without batsman Ross Taylor to injury, as well as Tim Southee, while Mitchell McClenaghan has also been ruled out. He had to undergo surgery on his eye socket after being struck by a bouncer against Pakistan.

Australia, meanwhile, are without opener Aaron for the first two games at least, due to injury, and Shaun Marsh has been drafted into that spot. This ahead of Usman Khawaja, so the pressure is on Marsh to perform immediately.

It also remains to be seen if spinner Adam Zampa will get a go, having been picked after a good Big Bash League effort for the Stars. He's in the side ahead of Nathan Lyon, Ashton Agar, and the like.

Australia come into the series on the back of a T20 whitewash at the hands of India, though they did win the ODI series, while New Zealand won both their ODI and T20 series against Pakistan.

Last Five Head-To-Head Results

2015 CWC final: Australia won by seven wickets in Melbourne
2015 CWC group stage: New Zealand won by one wicket in Auckland
2013 Champions Trophy: No result in Birmingham
2011 CWC: Australia won by seven wickets in Nagpur
2010 Fifth ODI: New Zealand won by 51 runs in Wellington


New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (capt), Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Henry Nicholls, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Colin Munro, Luke Ronchi (wk), Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Adam Milne, Matt Henry

Australia: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), George Bailey, Scott Boland, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa


First ODI: 3 February in Auckland
Second ODI: 6 February in Wellington
Third ODI: 8 February in Hamilton