New look sends cricket into a frenzy

Everything old is new again as Australia prepares for its three-match ODI series against New Zealand.

Both sides will don retro kits for their matches in Sydney and Hobart as fans divided by the Tasman who were around to cheer on their favourite cricketers during the late 1990s get hit with a serious dose of nostalgia.

Both sides have released photos of what their fresh kits look like on modern-day stars and the cricket world has given them a giant thumbs up.

The Kiwis will wear their “teal fern” strip from the late 1990s, complete with red numbers, after holding a fan vote and the Aussies are going to rock the same uniform from the victorious 1999 World Cup-winning campaign in England.

It features five shooting stars across the front of the jersey and won out in a fan vote, beating the famous “lightning bolt” strip from earlier in the 1990s.

Australia has even gone a step further back in time and will wear gold helmets for the first time in years, ditching the usual green protective gear.

Photo time in Sydney and a first chance for the players to check out their fresh teal shirts ??#AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/e7qMYHmog1

Gold lids ??? #AUSvNZ pic.twitter.com/JOv7g4shYc

New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham is a big fan, replying to a tweet with a kissing emoji, while publications like Cricinfo and Wisden also chimed in with praise of their own.

Radio broadcaster and Sheffield Shield commentator Adam White loves the gold helmets in particular, tweeting: “Righting the wrongs of the recent past. Immediately, they look a better team.”

Photos of the kits received thousands of likes on Twitter

? https://t.co/5jJ7Qt9TSY

How great is New Zealand's retro ODI kit?! pic.twitter.com/TYaENPY7Ys

New Zealand insists it won’t carry any mental scars from its Test thumping at the hands of Australia into this week’s three-match one-day series.

The Black Caps have returned to Sydney for Friday’s opener a far more confident team than the one that left two months ago, having since clean-swept India in an ODI and Test series.

Twelve members of their 15-man squad have returned from the 3-0 drubbing in December and January, and again arrive as a chance to upset Australia on home soil.

“There’s been a lot of cricket since then,” coach Gary Stead told AAP. “We played some pretty good cricket in that period of time and learned a lot after our period here.

“It’s a different series, so there’ll be different guys over here with us who weren’t involved in the Test series as well.

“It’s in the past now. All we can look forward to is what’s in front of us with the ODIs and the T20s.”

The sides have virtually swapped roles since the SCG Test, which completed Australia’s perfect home summer in red-ball cricket.

Ross Taylor has been in superb white-ball form against India, as has Henry Nicholls.

Australia’s arch-nemesis Neil Wagner does not play one-day cricket, but the Kiwis’ medium-pacers regularly do the damage and helped take them to last year’s World Cup final.

Australia meanwhile has lost 2-1 in India and 3-0 in South Africa in one-day cricket, as well as a 2-1 T20 series victory over the Proteas. But Stead maintained he did not see the hosts as vulnerable in Sydney.

“Australia are never vulnerable at home,” he said. “It’s one of the toughest places to come and play in world cricket. Their reputation and record they have (stands out).

“They’ve come off being beaten in South Africa but a lot of teams struggle away from home. That’s no different to us, that’s going to be our biggest challenge.”

With AAP

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