Australia keen to extend their dominance as New Zealand hope to finish season on a high

Australia look to extend their record winning streak © Getty Images

Four years and 41 days. The last time Australia lost to New Zealand in an ODI was 1501 days ago. Since then, the two teams have come across each other 14 times in this format, and the White Ferns are yet to get a win against their neighbours.

As Australia take the field in the third ODI on Saturday(April 10), they would be eyeing their fourth consecutive clean sweep against New Zealand. The full-strength Australian squad came into the series without a lot of issues in their arsenal. If the way this series has gone is anything to show for, it is the bench strength of the current Australian squad.

With the series won, the tourists might be open to provide opportunities for a few youngsters in the squad. The eighteen-year-old pacer Darcie Brown, who made her T20I debut in this tour, might get an opportunity considering the workload management of Tayla Valeminck.

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In the batting department, most of their batters have got ample opportunities and have performed as and when required based on the match situation. Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning have had starts, but both of them have not converted them into a big score.

Despite not bowling too many overs, allrounder Ellyse Perry has shown what she can deliver to this team both with the bat and on the field. Jess Jonassen has proved to be a vital cog in this Australian team, especially her astute bowling has come in handy for Lanning and Co. If Australia bat first and things go their way, one could be in for some exciting contest. They are on a 23-match winning streak and would want to keep it going for the next few months before the World Cup next year.

As far as New Zealand is concerned, they had quite a few positives to take from the second ODI despite the margin of the defeat. One of the biggest positives was the return of Leigh Kasperek, who picked up six wickets. How she set up those key dismissals are going to be crucial for the team tactically going forward.

The absence of the two veterans – Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine – have created a huge gap in that New Zealand batting order. However, the partnership between Amelia Kerr and Brooke Halliday showed a lot of good signs for the future. While their skipper Amy Satterthwaite’s form with the bat is also a bit of concern, she would be hoping that the young duo comes good in the final ODI.

The biggest issue, however, is the lack of consistency and incision in their pace attack. Though Jess Kerr is proving to be an asset, the lack of support from others is not helping them. As they head into the final match of the tour, Satterthwaite would be hoping that Hannah Rowe and Rosemary Mair are at their best of forms. Without taking early wickets, it is almost an impossible task to keep this Australian team under control.

In the ODI series against England, New Zealand ended their long losing streak. However, they have lost both the matches since. Before going into the off-season, they would want to end on a high and take the momentum from thereon. With both the teams looking to finish on a positive note, New Zealand will have to come out all guns blazing to give themselves a chance against their Trans-Tasman rivals.

Squads

New Zealand: Amy Satterthwaite (c), Lauren Down, Maddy Green, Brooke Halliday, Hayley Jensen, Amelia Kerr, Jess Kerr, Rosemary Mair, Katey Martin(wk), Hannah Rowe, Lea Tahuhu, Leigh Kasperek, Kate Anderson

Australia: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes, Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Hannah Darlington, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Tahlia McGrath, Sophie Molineux, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Molly Strano, Georgia Wareham, Belinda Vakarewa, Tayla Vlaeminck