New Zealand head coach Gary Stead is looking forward to the challenge posed by Australia during this month's ODI series.
Australia and New Zealand have contested 137 ODIs since the first in 1974. The former have won 91 and the latter 39, with seven no-results. The Australians lost an ODI series to South Africa three-nil recently. New Zealand recently beat India three-nil in ODI cricket.
The Aussies and Kiwis will play three ODIs in March 2020. The hosts and visitors are priced at 1.57 and 2.37, respectively, by bet365 to win the series opener.
“I look at what's coming ahead in the next few years, and I do see that we are playing Australia in white-ball cricket reasonably regularly. They are a great team, we respect them a lot for the way they play their cricket. That's ultimately, sometimes, they set a benchmark for us to aspire to,” said Stead.
“I think Australia are never vulnerable at home. It's one of the toughest places to come and play in world cricket I guess as well. Their reputation, and the record that they have I guess, you see the record and that's why they do have that reputation. And so, I mean, they have come off being beaten in South Africa, but all a lot of teams struggle away from home, and I guess no different for us, that's going to be our biggest challenge.”
“I think we can take confidence from recent form. India were the number one ranked team and we beat them two-nil in Tests in our home conditions and played really well in the ODIs series prior to that as well. I think we have played some really good ODI cricket in the last three or four years and hopefully we can continue that on.”
Australia and New Zealand in T20 World Cup
New Zealand have been grouped with Australia, Pakistan, the West Indies and two qualifying teams for the T20 World Cup later this year. Stead's team will use this series as preparation for that tournament.
“It is a different format, but I guess the more information you can get, and the more intelligence you can get on all the grounds, the good thing is. I'm not sure if the pitch conditions will look the same in the T20 time,” he added.