Australia returned to winning ways with a two-wicket victory over New Zealand in the opening ODI clash and will be looking to go 2-0 up in the series when they meet again on Thursday.
Following a defeat to Zimbabwe in their last game at the weekend, the Aussies needed to respond, and they did just that in Cairns on Tuesday.
However it looked as though they were heading for another defeat at one point as chasing 233 runs to win the match they were sat on 5-44.
That was until Alex Carey and Cameron Green came together to rescue the situation when scoring 85 and 89 runs respectively to get the Australians home.
When Carey lost his wicket after a fine innings, it was left to Green to steady the ship and he did just that as they made the target with five overs to spare.
It was far from perfect from Australia as the top of the batting order failed to deliver once again but there were plenty of positive to take as they head into the second match.
Let’s take a closer look at the second ODI which will again be played in Cairns.
What: Australia v New Zealand
Where: Cazalys Stadium, Cairns
When: 14:20 (AEST) Tuesday 6th September 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel
Odds: Australia 8/15, New Zealand 6/4
Australia may have won the opening One Day International but they have Alex Carey and Cameron Green to thank for it as the top five batsmen failed to produce.
David Warner has been the best opener so far in 2022 but on this occasion he could only make 20 runs, while skipper Aaron Finch’s miserable run of form continued with just five runs.
Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Marcus Stoinis also fell cheaply and had it not been for Carey and Green, Australia would have suffered a heavy defeat.
They still looked in danger at 8-207 after Carey’s innings came to an end but Green steadied the ship and thankfully for Australia Adam Zampa hung around long enough and chipped in with 13 valuable runs.
But it is the poor form of Finch that continues to make the headlines and former Aussie batsman Mark Waugh is the latest to suggest that his time may be up unless he can start finding runs quickly.
“At some stage, if he keeps failing this series, I think a call has to be made sooner rather than later,” Waugh said. “It’s tough, but you can’t last forever. Everyone has their use-by date, no matter how good you are.”
Finch will still have the support of the selectors and they will be confident he will rise to the occasion when it comes to the defence of the T20 World Cup later this year.
The white-ball skipper will also get another chance to find his form in the second ODI on Thursday.
But he cannot do it alone and the rest of the middle-order also need to step up, including Smith who is also struggling for consistency.
Coach Andrew McDonald has already suggested he will make tweaks to the starting side and he did that in the opening ODI when Labuschagne came in for Ashton Agar.
It remains to be seen what he will do on the Thursday, but any changes are likely to be minor.
There could be no real complaints when it came to Australia’s bowling performance against the Kiwis with Glenn Maxwell the star when taking 4-52, while paceman Josh Hazlewood also took 3-31.
Mitchell Starc and Zampa took the other two wickets as New Zealand made 232-9. With the second ODI also taking place at the Cazaly’s Stadium it will be a surprise if changes are made to the bowling line-up.
New Zealand did not do a great deal wrong and will feel they should have won the opening One Day International.
The issue was batsmen getting themselves in but not going on to make the big runs that would have won them the game.
Devon Conway, Kane Williamson and Tom Latham were all dismissed in the 40s, while Daryl Mitchell made 26 runs. It still could have been enough but the tail then collapsed and 232 runs would not be enough.
They also caught the eye with the ball early on when Trent Boult helped to rip through the top order with 4-40 off his 10 overs, while Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson took two wickets each.
But they could not prevent Green and Carey putting on the big runs and that also cost them. Still they will be confident of bouncing back in game two.