Black Caps Riding High into Trans-Tasman
Australian cricket fans will welcome the inauguration of a new T20 tournament on Saturday, February 3; the first tri-series in the quickfire format to feature three full ICC members. The Trans-Tasman Tri-Series (TTTS) begins with the hosts facing New Zealand at the SCG, which will be a challenge for the Baggy Greens.
The Black Caps were ranked the top T20 side in the world until as recently Sunday, January 28, when the loss of a decider and a home series to Pakistan saw the two sides swop places in the rankings. New Zealand remain formidable, only now they’ll be smarting from a defeat, and Colin Munro will be back from injury to open the batting for them with his busy, bountiful blade.
Australia Would Probably Prefer a Test
Australia, on the other hand, have also just seen a dip in their fortunes. Having beaten England 4-0 in a five-test Ashes series, with the fourth-test draw thanks to rain in Melbourne perhaps saving the visitors from a whitewash, they fell apart in the 50-over format.
England rallied brilliantly in the ODIs. The first three were gut-punches to Australian hopes: England won by 5 wickets, 4 wickets and 16 runs. The Baggy Greens managed to win the next one at the Adelaide Oval, bowling the English out for 196 in under 45 overs and then chasing that down in just 37, to win by 3 wickets.
Some Tense Games Ahead
However, England came back strong in the final clash in Perth, defending 259 by just 12 runs. The complete turnaround since the Ashes series has many Australian punters worried that their team will struggle even more against the English as the game gets even shorter.
They’ll find out on Wednesday, February 7, in Hobart, when Aus v Eng in their first TTTS meeting. The two sides face off again the following Saturday, February 10
The final, once each team has played each of the others twice to determine the top two, is across the Tasman in Eden Park on February 21.