Two of the best teams in the World Cup, incidentally also the co-hosts; meet each other to decide who will end up topping Group A. Even though Australia is below Sri Lanka at the moment in the points table, it is a foregone conclusion that either Australia or New Zealand will finish at first in Group A. New Zealand is the team to beat at the moment as they are looking strong in every department. Australia was a little unlucky to not have picked two points against Bangladesh as the matched was abandoned due to rain. This contest should be pretty close as topping the table does give the teams an advantage in the next round.
There are a lot of similarities between the two sides so it is difficult to pick a winner between the two. Both have explosive openers at the top of the order who are capable of making big runs. Neither team is short of all-rounders or pace bowlers who can bowl fast and accurate. So, it will be an interesting match that might very well go into the final over. The talking point of the match is definitely the return of Michael Clarke after a long injury layoff.
David Warner and Aaron Finch will be crucial at the top of the order to counter the bowling of Southee and Boult. Both the fast bowlers have been excellent in the series so far. The main concern for Australia would be to save wickets at the top of the order to ensure that the middle order is not exposed. Shane Watson has not been in good form while Clarke is coming back from injury. The key for New Zealand would be to bowl well in the first ten overs and try to get a couple of wickets. However, good batting wickets and short grounds in New Zealand have provided large totals and it will be no different in this match.
Both teams would lie to bat second so that they know what target is to be achieved. It is not easy to defend a score even though most matches in the tournament have been won by the team batting first. The middle overs will hold the key to the fate of the match and New Zealand looks stronger in this department and Daniel Vettori is a wily bowler. Corey Anderson has also shown great form with the bowl.
Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc are known for bowling fast but also panic when there is nothing on the surface that aids fast bowlers. They will have to keep good control or they could be chasing a big target. New Zealand has the home advantage playing at Auckland and their bowlers are faring better at the moment so they certainly are the frontrunners in this match.
New Zealand – 2.20 @ Bet365