The ICC Champions Trophy kicks-off this week and will feature the world’s best players along with the biggest fixtures in cricket. With 15 games, 8 teams and 1 champion, we’re sure you’re just as excited as the rest of us here at Edgbaston. Australia take on New Zealand on Friday 2 June here in Birmingham and a limited number of tickets for this southern hemisphere rivalry are still available which you can purchase by simply clicking here.

Australia vs New Zealand – Head-to-Head in ODIs

Australia has had the upper hand in their head-to-head, winning 90 of the 135 matches played against New Zealand, with six matches ending without a result. In England, these two sides have played against each other three times, with both teams winning a match each and one being abandoned. Australia are currently seeded 2 in the ICC ODI Team Rankings whilst New Zealand occupy the fourth spot.

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.

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 bowling attack. 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.

Australia v New Zealand – Friday 2 June at Edgbaston

Renowned for the electric atmosphere, Edgbaston is set to take centre stage this Friday when Australia take on New Zealand in the ICC Champions Trophy. A limited number of tickets is available for this massive fixture and can be purchased by simply clicking here.