Recommended Bet: Back New Zealand to win @ 2.6 with Betway.
Betting, as we know, is all about value.
We can see why Australia are favourites.
World champs, hosts and with a good head-to-head record against New Zealand.
But back in 2016, the Black Caps sprung a surprise win against hosts India in the opening match (as is this one) and history could repeat itself at very attractive odds here on the match-winner market.
Australia’s 2-0 defeat to England last week was a wake-up call that maybe all is not right with the balance of their team and that they have a couple of key players out of form.
New Zealand have their own problems, most notably injuries. But in a game of fine margins, it’s worth taking a gamble on them as big outsiders.
Lastly, as you’ll see in the venue and conditions section, there’s a high chance of rain.
As we explain there, a reduction in overs normally benefits the outsider, so that’s a further reason why New Zealand are the call.
Australia, the T20 World Cup hosts, are of course the defending champions.
No one expected them to win last year’s tournament.
But all the players did their jobs admirably, kept their heads under pressure and made the most of the all-important UAE toss bias (batting second in the big games was a huge advantage) to seal the deal.
Since beating New Zealand in last year’s final, they’ve played 17 times: winning nine, losing seven, tying one and also having a no-result in there, which was last week’s washed-out match against England.
So they’ve been decent, but not brilliant.
What will worry them is that they lost back-to-back matches on their own patch to England last week when fielding their best side. They may well have also lost the third game if it hadn’t been rained off.
With Mitch Marsh not bowling at the moment, they look a bit light on bowling options, so Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell will have to bowl four overs between them.
They seem to have finally decided Steve Smith doesn’t get in the side; that’s a good move and increases their chances of winning the whole thing.
Had the toss went their way in the final in Dubai last year and they’d got to bat second and they may well have won the tournament themselves.
Since that final, New Zealand have won exactly 2/3 of their matches, so 12 out of 18.
But that strong record in the last 12 months comes with a word of caution: they beat all the weaker sides such as the Netherlands, Ireland and Bangladesh comfortably, but struggled against the big boys.
They lost 3-0 to India in India and also lost 2-1 to Pakistan at home so they’ve struggled somewhat against the best teams.
To add to their issues, they have some injury concerns.
Daryl Mitchell may not be risked here as he carries on recovering from a broken finger and from among the fast bowlers, neither Lockie Ferguson nor Adam Milne are fully fit, though it’s likely that at least one will play.
On the plus side, all-rounder Michael Bracewell has been excellent of late, including picking up two man of the match awards in a row last week.
In the Australia vs New Zealand head-to-head it’s very much advantage Australia, who are 10-5 up.
The Black Caps did come out on top in last year’s final, of course, the last time they met.
But in March last year New Zealand beat them 3-2 in a 5-match Series, so things have been a bit more level over the past few years.
Venue & conditions
The last time there was a T20I match here at the Sydney Cricket Ground was a tied game between Australia and Sri Lanka back in February this year.
Both teams scored 164 after Sri Lanka batted second and hit the last ball of the innings for four to enforce a Super Over, which Australia then won.
Two days before that Australia posted 149/9 in a 19-over-a-side-match (again against Sri Lanka) and defended it quite comfortably.
And before that, back in 2020, Australia played India here twice.
The hosts posted 186/5 and defended it but two days before that, India chased a big-looking 195 with two balls to spare.
So there isn’t an obvious toss bias. 175-180 batting first should be enough to win the game.
But the most important factor of all here is the weather. There’s about a 80% chance of rain for the day so quite a high possibility that there will be a reduction in overs. That’s a result of the La Niña weather event.
That means two things.
1) Read the rules carefully for your chosen betting site regarding top batsman/top bowler/first innings runs markets as they vary from one betting site to another.
2) a reduction in overs is normally good news for the outsider (New Zealand) and bad news for the favourite (Australia) because less overs can reduce the gulf between the two and put the game more down to luck than if it was the full 20 overs.