Such has been Australia’s domination in this Trans-Tasman tri-series that they managed to win their final regular encounter against New Zealand despite being asked to chase down a mammoth total of 244 runs on Friday (February 16). The Aussies have won all four of their matches so far and comfortably through the final which is scheduled to be held on the coming Wednesday (February 21).
New Zealand and England haven’t been able to play their best cricket in the tri-series so far and will meet each other in a virtual knockout encounter at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday (February 18).
The Kiwis managed to come out on top when the two teams last met each other on February 13 and will need a repeat performance in the 6th match of the series if they are to qualify for the final against Australia.
In a rather surprising turn of events, England have lost all of their matches in the T20 tri-series and will have to lift their game several notches higher in this crunch game. They have also been hampered by the absence of captain Eoin Morgan in the last two games and will be hoping to have the unorthodox left-hander back against New Zealand on Sunday.
Here, we look at the predicted XI line-ups of both New Zealand and Australia for the 6th T20 international match of the Trans-Tasman tri-series.
New Zealand Predicted XI for 6th T20 of Tri-series
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Mark Chapman, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult
Martin Guptill and Colin Munro were in their element in the 5th T20I of the tri-series against Australia and got their team off to an absolute flier, albeit in a losing cause. While Guptill continued his fine run of form and scored a century, the destructive Munro also found some form and played a quickfire knock of 76 runs.
Following Guptill and Munro will the calming and influential presence of captain Kane Williamson at the crucial Number 3 slot, who missed out in the last game but won the Man of the Match award in the 4th T20I against England. Former Hong Kong international Mark Chapman will in likelihood take up the Number 4 position. Veteran Ross Taylor will complete the middle-order for the home team.
Tim Seifert has been the preferred wicket-keeper for the home leg of this series for New Zealand and he will continue as the man behind the wickets. The big-hitting Colin de Grandhomme hasn’t done much in the Kiwis’ last two outings in the tri-series and will be itching to showcase his skills in this all-important clash against England. After missing the Australia game due to a minor injury, the wily Mitchell Santner is likely to return and shore up the hosts’ bowling attack.
Leg spinner Ish Sodhi and the experienced pace duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee will once again form the core of the bowling attack for New Zealand.
England Predicted XI for 6th T20 of Tri-series
Alex Hales, Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), David Willey, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Tom Curran, Mark Wood
In Alex Hales and Jason Roy, England have two of the hardest hitters of the white ball at the top of the order and despite a poor show in the series so far, the swashbuckling duo are once again likely to open the innings for the Three Lions on Sunday (February 18).
Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan has given a good account of himself at Number 3 in the first three matches of the tri-series, albeit in losing causes. England will hope to have captain Eoin Morgan back for this do-or-die clash against New Zealand, the man behind their resurgent approach to white-ball cricket. Morgan is likely to replace James Vince.
Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler is one of best limited-overs finishers that the game has seen in recent times and will be followed by the recently appointed Kent captain, Sam Billings.
England’s bowling attack will once again comprise of all-rounder David Willey, leg-spinner Adil Rashid, the pacy Mark Wood and death overs specialist Chris Jordan. Surrey youngster Tom Curran is likely to come in for the injured Liam Plunkett.