Rob Handley has three picks for this high anticipated group game
Australia v New Zealand, 10:30am Sky Sports 1
Quality at the top of the orders, competent seam attacks and an eye on lifting the Champions Trophy all point to a mouth-watering contest between Smith’s Australia and Williamson’s Black Caps. Despite being the underdogs with the bookies, New Zealand’s recent record against Australia is positive after beating them 3-0 in a three match series on home soil.
Sticking with the Black Caps who recently chased down 356 against Sri Lanka, largely thanks to their world-class opening batsmen Martin Guptill who smashed 110 off 76 balls. The big right-hander enjoys pace on the ball which will be a plenty with Starc and Cummins in the Australian attack. He is my pick to top the batting in the match.
Much has been made of Australia’s explosive power at the top and quick attack, though spinner Adam Zampa tends to slide under the radar for most of the pundits. The leg break bowler has developed into a one-day specialist, plying his trade in all the major T20 leagues and boasts healthy economy rates in all formats. An impressive economy rate of just 5.46 in the 50 over format leads me to believe he is worth an investment to be the most economical bowler in the game at 10/3. For those looking for something slightly bigger priced, look towards Jeetan Patel in the Black Caps ranks.