Lord's-Switch To Attend The Trans-Tasman Rivalry In A Different Light > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more
Cricket news - Lord's switches on to witness Trans-Tasman rivalry in a different light
"Just ask a Kiwi to pronounce the word 'six', and then see him or her blush." It's one of those long-standing quips that Australians love to use against their beloved neighbours. And of course the New Zealanders will retort by talking about how you can tell an Aussie from a mile off but once he's close you can't tell him anything. There's no innuendo or even ill-feeling attached to it though. It's simply how the two countries are, forever nit-picking at each other's quirks, forever making sport of each other, except when it comes to real sport. Then, it's a proper rivalry, fierce and unyielding.
But as cliched as it sounds, it's difficult to argue when someone likens the edge between the two southern hemisphere nations to one you'd find between most siblings -- with Australia clearly the elder of the two in that context. And the verbal bullying that Australia may indulge in over New Zealand isn't so much to do with outright menace. It's more a case of them taking liberty in their relationship for poking fun at their relatively smaller neighbours.
It's on the sporting field though that the Kiwis generally seek their one-upmanship. There's little that gives the people of New Zealand as much joy as when they beat an Australian team in any sport possible. And the Trans-Tasman rivalry makes its debut far away from home at the Home of Cricket on Saturday (June 29).
As much as Australia and New Zealand celebrate their differences, and the fact that they are divided by the Tasman Sea, the rest of the world though often finds it difficult to differentiate between the two, starting with telling their respective flags apart -- Australia have the white stars, and New Zealand the red for the record. And as much as they hate losing to each other on the field, it's equally evident how the two countries are joint at the hip whenever you're in that part of the world.
For, when you are as cut off from the rest of the world as they are, you need to have each other's backs. New Zealand could certainly do with a favour from the Australians, who have already qualified for the semifinals, by letting them get there. Not like the Aussies will ever cut them any slack or make life easy for them ever. It's not a rivalry based on compromise after all. A win on Saturday will confirm the Black Caps as the third team to make it past the league stages. A loss on the other hand could potentially leave them in a premature knockout scenario in their final game against England next week -- though if Eoin Morgan & Co fail to beat India on Sunday, the Kiwis go through regardless.
Like with a number of other countries -- West Indies and Bangladesh in particular --Australia haven't played much against New Zealand in ODI cricket since facing them at the MCG in the 2015 World Cup final. There've only been 9 completed 50-over matches between the two sides since, and the last one came two years ago right here in England -- at Edgbaston to be precise -- during the 2017 Champions Trophy, which was rained off. And for all the sanctity of Lord's, there will be a very unique buzz to proceedings around the ground and on it on Saturday.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson summed it up too rather succinctly saying, "Usually you come to Lord's and there's sort of a quiet murmur when you play England, but I guess playing Australia it might be a little bit different when you have Kiwis and Australians filling out the seats. It will be a really good atmosphere, whatever it is."
When: Australia vs New Zealand, CWC19, June 29, 13:30 Local, 18:00 IST
Where: Lord's, London
What to expect: The rare times the sun shines as brightly as it has here over the last two days, London can feel like an imposter. Everything from the roads to the seemingly ageless architecture looks unrecognizable. It's almost like the endless stretch of the characteristic stone houses around the city aren't used to the sun, almost like they don't deserve it. And it's only on these odd occasions that the slightly more opulent English get to show off their fancy convertible cars, which illuminate the crowded streets further. With temperatures set to rise to as high as 32 degrees, London might feel even more out of place on Saturday. It'll be a different setting at Lord's as well, with this only the second-ever ODI to be played under lights at St John's Wood. It's interesting that the only other day-night match to be played here came 9 years ago when Pakistan beat England. But despite the slightly different setting, you just know Lord's will always feel like Lord's.
Australia have had an interesting tournament so far in terms of their bowling options. While Nathan Coulter-Nile has won them a match with the bat, Jason Behrendorff did so with the ball three days ago against England. But even the five-wicket haul isn't likely to have cemented the left-armer's place for the rest of the tournament. He should, however, feel confident of starting against the Kiwis, with the match set to be played on the same pitch as that game on Tuesday (June 25). So should Nathan Lyon, who made an impressive World Cup debut despite not taking a wicket. The left-handers in the New Zealand middle-order and the potential of turn off the second-hand wicket will mean the veteran off-spinner keeps his place ahead of Adam Zampa.
Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Glen Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Jason Behrendorff
The Kiwis have snuck through under the radar as always, but there are issues with their batting line-up that has come under the spotlight. Openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro have hardly got going, and it could open the door for Henry Nicholls to slot himself in. You'd expect Munro to make way for him in that case, unless Nicholls is brought in to don the wicket-keeping gloves in place of the under-performing Tom Latham, who has had a shocking World Cup and averages 6.75 in 5 innings. There's also talk of a possible call-up for Ish Sodhi in place of Mitchell Santner, whose provided a calming influence so far without really having an impact.
Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls (wk), James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner/Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
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