Napier: New Zealand might be still celebrating its Twenty20 victory over Australia following Sunday night's thrilling win in Christchurch but the Kiwis will face a far tougher task combating their arch rivals when it comes to the upcoming Chappell/Hadlee one-day series.
Australia has won 24 of its past 27 completed one-day internationals since the Ashes series and was unbeaten in the 50 over format throughout the recent home summer when it thrashed Pakistan 5-0 and then the West Indies 4-0 with one game washed out.
But it wasn't just the fact Australia piled up win after win in the 50 over game during the recent home summer that should have the Kiwis worried ahead of game one on Wednesday, but rather the manner of those victories.
Australia won four matches against the Windies and Pakistan by more than 100 runs with their last outing being a ridiculously easy 125-run victory over the Windies at the MCG on February 19.
Skipper Ricky Ponting led throughout with the bat in the 50 over arena all summer and will be refreshed for the opening of the Chappell/Hadlee series having enjoyed the past week off as Michael Clarke led the Aussies in the Twenty20 series to kick start the New Zealand tour.
New Zealand's last engagement in this format was a 3-0 success over Bangladesh and they are on a five-game winning streak, but they face a step up in class. After one poor Twenty20 in Wellington they showed they can eyeball Australia and if Brendon McCullum inspires his team-mates to fire the contest could be even.
New Zealand have two new faces from their Twenty20 unit, with Scott Styris available to beef up the batting order with Neil Broom. Daryl Tuffey was left out on Sunday so he is not weighed down by the carnage caused by Australia as they equalled New Zealand's 214 in 20 overs.
Squad (from): DL Vettori (capt), SE Bond, NT Broom, JEC Franklin, MJ Guptill, PJ Ingram, BB McCullum (wk), NL McCullum, JDP Oram, TG Southee, SB Styris, LRPL Taylor, DR Tuffey
Australia's squad has undergone a makeover with the arrival of Ponting, Doug Bollinger, James Hopes, Clint McKay and Adam Voges. There is no Shaun Marsh, who is not being replaced after a back injury ruled him out, so Brad Haddin should keep his spot at the top with Shane Watson.
Squad (from): RT Ponting (capt), MJ Clarke, DE Bollinger, BJ Haddin (wk), RJ Harris, NM Hauritz, JR Hopes, MEK Hussey, MG Johnson, CJ McKay, SE Marsh, AC Voges, SR Watson, CL White
Pitch and conditions
Napier is a ground that is usually full of runs and a good pitch is expected along with a crowd of between 8K-10K, which would make it about three-quarters full. A maximum of 27C is forecast and conditions should become sunny later in the day.
Stats and trivia
Wednesday, March 3, 2010 (day/night)
Start time 14:00 local (01:00 GMT)