Cricket Australia vs New Zealand, first T20, live scores: Start time, how to watch, preview, weather updates at Christchurch
New Zealand vs Australia, first T20 at Christchurch (5pm AEDT) —
The road to the 2021 T20 World Cup in India begins on Monday as Australia and New Zealand start their five-match series.
Aaron Finch leads a severely depleted Australian outfit that is without its multi-format stars due to a schedule conflict with the tour of South Africa, which has since been postponed.
Leading a team without the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner or Pat Cummins available would be an unenviable task at the best of times for Finch, but it becomes even more daunting given his form slump in the game’s shortest format.
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Finch had a dire campaign with the Melbourne Renegades, making just 179 runs at 13.76 in 13 innings with a top score of 39.
The slide accelerated in the closing weeks — Finch’s most recent four scores are 0, 10, 4 and 6.
Making matters worse for Finch, however, was that Indian Premier League franchises took notice, and he went unsold at the auction last week.
But while his teammates Glenn Maxwell ($A2.52m), Jhye Richardson (A$2.48) and Riley Meredith (A$1.42m) snapped up million-dollar deals, Finch has taken the blow on the chin and is ready to move forward in New Zealand.
“It’s a wonderful competition to be a part of but it wasn’t unexpected that I wasn’t picked up, to be honest,” Finch said ahead of the first match, according to cricket.com.au.
“I’d prefer to be playing cricket, but a little bit of time at home won’t be the worst thing.”
Meanwhile, IPL fans will be eagerly watching how Maxwell, Richardson and Meredith perform having landed mega deals with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab.
Richardson said the experience of the IPL auction left him feeling “exhausted”.
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“I was looking and I know my name came up and I got this wave of almost (being) nauseous not knowing what to expect,” he said
“I feel like I played a game yesterday. I have mentally exhausted myself of so many emotions, really sick and excited. It’s still sinking in that’s for sure.”
On the other side of the series, the pressure will also be on Kiwi quick Kyle Jamieson to show why he landed a huge IPL deal with RCB worth more than $2.6m.
“I had a message from Shane Bond as it was going and he said, ‘How good is this’,” Jamieson told Stuff.co.nz.
“I didn’t actually know what the amount of money, how that translated to New Zealand dollars.
“It was quite cool to share that moment with him and ride that two or three minutes with him.”
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Hamish Bennett, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, *Martin Guptill (pending fitness test), Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee. *Finn Allen (on standby for Guptill)
SCHEDULE (all times AEDT)
1st T20: February 22, Hagley Oval, Christchurch, 5pm
2nd T20: February 25, University of Otago Oval, Dunedin, 12pm
3rd T20: March 03, Sky Stadium, Wellington, 5pm
4th T20: March 05, Eden Park, Auckland, 5pm
5th T20: March 07, Bay Oval, Tauranga, 12pm
HOW TO WATCH
Watch every ball of the tour of New Zealand on Fox Cricket 501 or stream on Kayo.