Australia have just come from a series full of runs against India, and I don't expect this one against the Kiwi's to be any different.
New Zealand v Australia
I’m backing Australia to win the first ODI against New Zealand. Just like the series against New Zealand I expect this one to be full of runs with bowlers really having to work hard to get their wickets. Australia will enter the series with a lot of confidence from the ODI series against the Indians, even though they struggled in the T20 form of the game. Australia looked formidable when it came to chasing down series, they’ve learnt how to time their innings, which does help when you’ve got their explosive line up.
New Zealand won their ODI series against a weak Pakistan team with ease, however this will be a much stiffer competitor. I think Australia are short at $1.68 but I can’t see them losing.
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Australia - 1pt @ 1.7
Top Australia Bowler
Josh Hazlewood only played one game in the ODI series against India and only managed to pick up one scalp. The break would have done Josh good, especially as Australia struggled to take wickets early on which proves what a vital player he’s becoming for Australia. Hazlewood has a massive chance to make himself Australia’s strike bowler if he performs well on this tour. A chance I think he’ll take with two hands, that’s why I’m backing to be top Aussie bowler at $4.33.
Josh Hazlewood - 1pt @ 4.33
Top Australian Batsman
There is plenty of talk of who should be in Australia’s batting line-up, talk which I think will fire up Shaun Marsh and make him prove a point today. With injuries Shaun can cement a spot at the top of the order for the near future with a couple of good knocks, this will put massive pressure on selectors when everyone is fit. If he can get a good understanding with Warner he’ll also increase his claims of opening up in the T20 World Cup. I’m backing him to top score for Australia at $5.5.
Shaun Marsh - 1pt @ 5.5
Top New Zealand Batsman
Kane Williamson is one of the best batsman in the game, he showed this last time these two countries met. He makes it look so easy in every format of the game. He only averaged 47 in the Pakistan series which is poor for him, however he did smash 172 from just three innings in the T20 series. Williamson will lead from the front and top score for New Zealand, he needs to start implementing his leadership skills as he will fill Brendan McCullum’s shoes.
Kane Williamson - 1pt @ 4.00
Man of the Match
Early wickets are key for Australia, we need to knock over McCullm, Guptill, Williamson and co before they get going. This is why I’m backing Josh Hazlewood to be man of the match. If Hazlewood can take a few early ones and then comeback to take some lesser scalps he deserves the honour, the bowlers will win this ODI. Hazlewood is a massive $21 to be Man of the Match.
Josh Hazelwood - 1pt @ 21.00