Matthew Wade (l) will skipper Australia in absence of Steven Smith (c) and David Warner (r)    Getty Imags
Matthew Wade (l) will skipper Australia in absence of Steven Smith (r) and David Warner (c) Getty Images

Australia and New Zealand gear up again to take on each other in The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy 2016-17 in the land of the Kiwis. This series will consist of three-One-Day Internationals (ODI). Both teams earlier played for the same trophy in December 2016, which was won by Australia (3-0) in their own den. This time the tables have turned and New Zealand are playing in their own fortress, which clearly gives them the advantage. In their last ODI assignments respectively, New Zealand going into the series annihilated Bangladesh 3-0, while Australia massacred Pakistan 4-1. The odds are clearly stacked against Australia, who are without their prolific scorers in David Warner and Steven Smith. NZ vs. AUS, 1st ODI: Likely XI for Blackcaps

Both Smith and Warner have been amongst the runs for Australia in the past few series. Warner, more so, has lead Australia’s surge at the top-order all throughout the year. His form has not only enabled the Kangaroos to romp the opposition bowling but also provided much need platform for the likes of Smith, George Bailey and Travis Head. During the ODI leg on the Sri Lanka tour, it was Warner’s captaincy that inspired Australia to come out of a hole and win the series 4-1. Smith, on the other hand, has complemented Warner’s explosiveness with his gallant batsmen-ship. The pair alone was responsible for 588 runs in the recently concluded series against Pakistan.

New Zealand’s bowling in comparison to Pakistan is more potent and skillful. With the likes of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, an inexperienced Australia will in all likelihood struggle on seam friendly conditions. Australia’s famed top order without Warner, Smith and Khawaja looks bleak and unscathed .Australia’s surge will be shepherd by Aaron FInch, Head and Peter Handscomb in alliance with Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh and Wade himself. New Zealand vs Australia, 1st ODI: Key Clashes

Handscomb and Head, who are fairly new to international cricket, will surely look to cement their place in the side, than try to go for the risky strokes and big runs. Head from the look of it appears to be a player with levelheadedness

This is where the likes of Warner and Smith come into play with their expertise. Smith can anchor Australia’s innings whenever the time arises. Smith’s record in the second innings is better than his career average. He averages 82.62 at an astounding strike rate of 88.25, while Warner’s second innings record reads 1,290 runs at 39.09. Both Warner and Smith have their individual approach to the game which only adds importance to their side.

The last time Australia played without Smith and Warner was in 2012-13 against West Indies. That match was all about the Adam Voges show, where he cracked a 106-ball 112. Finch, Shaun and Faulkner are the only survivors from that match. It will interesting to see how the likes of Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Wade approach the series. New Zealand vs Australia, 1st ODI: Likely XI for Matthew Wade and co.

Wade’s credentials as captain are rather debatable going by his show in the domestic circuit. Captaining Victoria Bushrangers in Sheffield Shield, Wade has not set the ball-rolling so far, rather has been in the news for all the wrong reasons ( spat with Maxwell). Wade himself has voiced his concerns about Smith-less and Warner-less top order’s ability to stand up to seaming and swinging conditions. One major concern with Wade will be if he commands the respect of his teammates after his outburst with Maxwell.Wade’s acumen as captain is questionable none-the-less.

Australia going into the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy will surely be handicapped with the absence of Smith, Warner and Khawaja, which in turn gives opportunity to the likes of Handscomb, Head and Maxwell to make an impact on the world stage.