Its Australia vs New Zealand as the action shifts from London to Birmingham with the arch-rivals taking on each other at Edgbaston in the second game of Group A in Champions Trophy 2017. A look at the key players from the crunch encounter as both the teams eye a winning start –
BATSMAN – Kane Williamson
New Zealand would once again bank on their skipper Kane Williamson to deliver the goods against the strong Australian pace attack. Continuing his fine form from the IPL where he aggregated 256 in seven matches, Williamson scored a classy 60-ball 88 against Sri Lanka in their second warm up game.
A player who mainly relies on proper cricketing shots, he can also be innovative as we have seen him do in the past. His duel with Mitchell Starc can be crucial in the outcome of the game and thereby he is Kiwi’s best bet with the willow.
BOWLER – MITCHELL STARC
A fit-again and rejuvenated Mitchell Starc is all set to unleash his express pace and deadly swing against New Zealand. After being off the field for almost three months, Starc is short on match practice as he did not get a chance to bowl in the warm-up matches too.
However, to take him lightly would be the biggest mistake as the pacer has enough firepower to single-handedly decimate the opposition within few overs. The swinging Yorkers rattling the woodwork can be once again a familiar sight as Starc takes the field in Australia’s first game of the tournament.
ALL-ROUNDER – MOISES HENRIQUES
With 277 runs, it was Henriques the batsman who played a major role for SRH in the IPL, but with the arrival of Champions Trophy, he seemed to have fine tuned his bowling skills too. His 3/46 was the best bowling figures in Australia’s close win over Sri Lanka in the warm-up game.
A perfect all-rounder who contributes in every aspect of the game, Henriques can be the trouble-shooter in times of need. Thereby he will have to put in his best game as Australia look to make a winning start to the competition.