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Cricket: Steve Smith must shine as David Warner ruled out

Australia already have the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy in the bag and are now targeting a 3-0 series win when they take on New Zealand at Eden Park.

Australia opened up an unassailable 2-0 lead with a convincing 72-run win over the hosts on Friday, and will be out to complete the T20I series in style.

New Zealand looked to have a chance in the second match as Australia posted a modest total of 175 runs off their 20 overs.

However the Black Caps responded in dismal fashion and were dismissed for just 102 runs in 17 overs.

Despite the series being over, New Zealand still have their pride to play for and will keen to respond to the mauling they suffered on Friday.

Australia will show zero sympathy and will want a 3-0 series whitewash in the bag,

What

New Zealand v Australia

Where

Eden Park, Auckland

When

10:00 (AEST) Sunday 25th February 2024

How to watch

Kayo Sports, Foxtel

Odds

New Zealand 2.62, Australia 1.50

Warner ruled out for Australia

Opening batsman David Warner will play no further part in the tour of New Zealand after picking up an adductor injury.

Warner was rested for the second T20 international, but was expected to make a return for the final match in Auckland.

However Cricket Australia have now confirmed that Warner will play no part as he is suffering from adductor soreness. However he should be ready for the start of the IPL.

The absence of Warner means that Steve Smith will get another chance to shine at the very top of the batting order.

He failed to do that in the second match, making just 11 runs off seven deliveries.

Warner, Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh are likely to be the top three at the World Cup and Smith has work to do.

Smith will be keen to shine and is priced at 5.00 to be Team – Top Batter.

Meanwhile, Matt Short also looks set to get another chance after playing the first match without batting or bowling.

Short has shown what he can do after impressing in the Big Bash League, but will want a big score in the Australian side. He is 12.00 to be Team – Top Batter.

Marsh to be rested

With the T20I series in the bag and the Test matches fast approaching, Australia look set to rest whiteball skipper Marsh.

In Marsh’s absence Matthew Wade looks set to skipper the side.

Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, who played in both of the opening two games, have also earned a rest.

Mitchell Starc and Spencer Johnson will be the players to come in and replace them.

Adam Zampa was the star of the show in game two when taking 4-34 in a blistering four-over spell.

The spin bowler is 4.33 to be Team – Top Bowler on Sunday, with Starc available at 3.40.

Black Caps need a response

It was a miserable night for the Black Caps on Friday, but there was one positive for them, the form of pace bowler Lockie Ferguson.

Ferguson was outstanding when taking 4-12 of 3.5 overs and he will be out to keep the good form going at Eden Park.

He is 3.10 to New Zealand’s Team – Top Bowler.

New Zealand have also been hit by the news that Devon Conway will sit out the third match after suffering a thumb injury in Friday’s defeat.

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