Match: New Zealand v Australia
Group: Group A
Date: Friday, June 2
Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham

Head2Head in ODIs

Australia has had the upper hand in their head-to-head, winning 87 of the 130 matches played against New Zealand, with six matches ending without a result. In England, these two sides have played against each other thrice, with both teams winning a match each and one being abandoned.

Greatest ODI encounter

Probably the match of greatest significance in the recent past between these two sides was at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 final in Melbourne. Although Australia defeated New Zealand by a big margin of seven wickets in the game, New Zealand had an unbelievable World Cup campaign till the final encounter. In the group stage, New Zealand had come out ahead in a low-scoring thriller. But in the final, Australia had its revenge.

The Australian pacers, led by Mitchell Johnson (3-30) and James Faulkner (3-36), bowled New Zealand out for 183 before the top-order batsmen conquered the game with a clinical run chase that was completed with 101 balls to spare.

Michael Clarke (74), who was playing his final game, and Steven Smith (56) both brought up fifties. Grant Elliott was the best batsman for New Zealand, making an 82-ball 83, but apart from him and Ross Taylor (40), no other batsman made contributions of note.

Previous Champions Trophy encounters

Edgbaston, Birmingham, June 12, 2013
Match washed out

Australia posted 243 thanks to half-centuries from George Bailey and Adam Voges. Australia applied the brakes early with two wickets. But just as a partnership was building between Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, rain played spoilsport.

SuperSport Park, Centurion, October 5, 2009
Australia won by six wickets
PoM: Shane Watson

After Nathan Hauritz (3-37) helped restrict New Zealand to 200, Shane Watson (105*) completed a clinical run chase for Australia with 4.4 overs remaining.

Punjab Cricket Association Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh, November 1, 2006
Australia won by 34 runs
PoM: Glenn McGrath

After Australia posted 240, Glenn McGrath (3-22) broke New Zealand’s backbone during the chase. It was eventually bowled out for 206 in 46 overs.

Kennington Oval, London, September 16, 2004
Australia won by seven wickets
PoM: Andrew Symonds

Damien Martyn (60*) and Andrew Symonds (71*) helped chase down New Zealand’s 198 within 38 overs.

Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo, September 15th, 2002,
Australia won by 164 runs.
PoM: Glenn McGrath

Damien Martyn (73) helped Australia to a strong total of 296 before Glenn McGrath’s (5-37) five-wicket haul bowled out New Zealand for 132.

Key players for each side

With a pool of world-class fast bowlers to counter, Steven Smith will have a tough job in hand as a No. 3 batsman for Australia. But, with his innovative shots and zest for scoring runs, Australia couldn’t be in safer hands. Smith has had an amazing run as a batsman over the past couple of years. He has been constantly compared to his contemporaries (Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Kane Williamson), and has consistently shown that he deserves to be on that list of best batsmen in the world. If he sticks in for a long period, he could eat into New Zealand’s bowling and take the game away.

After taking over captaincy from Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson will have to balance himself in the side as an ideal captain and a composed batsman. His calm nature, and ability to play textbook cricket shots will definitely help counter Australia’s quicks. He has often bailed New Zealand out of tough situations with gritty knocks. On any given day, Williamson is a threat against even the best of teams. Australia will have to watch out for his unassailable temperament and skill, both as a captain and a batsman.

Key facts

  • New Zealand has never won a Champions Trophy game against Australia.
  • Four of New Zealand’s ten lowest ODI totals have come against Australia.
  • Australia’s lowest ever total in an ODI, 70, came against New Zealand in 1986 at Adelaide.
  • Grant Elliott averages 40.50 against Australia, with one hundred and three fifties against his name.

Best at Champions Trophy

New Zealand Winners 2000, finalist 2013
Australia Winners 2006 and 2009