Australia face New Zealand in the second T20 match of their tour of New Zealand. The match will be played on Thursday February 24th, 2021 at 9:00pm EST in Dunedin. The host country leads the series after outplaying the Australians in the first match. Can Australia even the series or will New Zealand extend their lead to 2-0?
As expected, New Zealand romped to a 53 run win over the tourists in the first T20, on the back of an outstanding 99 not out from Devon Conway with the bat and Ish Sodhi leading the way with the ball with 4-28. It was a very impressive team effort which again was expected from a very deep side that has gelled very well. Despite their low ranking of #6 they have a nice mix of experience and young talent and I expect that ranking to improve soon. No changes are expected heading into the next match and the form of Kane Williamson is something to look out for as he will be rearing to score some runs.
Australia has a very inexperienced side here for this series, with a number of key players such as Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc being rested. There is a lot of talent among their ranks however, so expect them to improve as they get some more experience. Their bowling was decent in the first match but the batting really let them down, only mustering a paltry 131 all out with Mitchell Marsh the only batsman to make any significant contribution. I expect to see D’Arcy Scott to come in to shore up both the batting and the bowling attacks, and captain Aaron Finch will need to end his dry spell with the bat if they are to have any chance in this series.
I expect Australia to put in a much improved performance here in this match but I don’t think that will be enough to win here. New Zealand is functioning so well as a unit and are simply too strong. The fact that they won so convincingly without performances from key players like Kane Williamson, Martin Guptil and Kyle Jamieson speaks volumes. A closer match is likely with New Zealand extending the series lead to 2-0.