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Sports

Australia to bowl in first New Zealand T20

  • Australia have dominated their previous nine T20 meetings with New Zealand, winning seven and losing one, with one match ending tied.
22 Feb 2021

CHRISTCHURCH: Australia won the toss and elected to bowl in the first Twenty20 international against New Zealand in Christchurch on Monday.

Australia captain Aaron Finch said he was relishing the prospect of chasing on a consistent-looking Hagley Oval pitch.

"It looks like a really good wicket and I don't think it'll change much throughout the 40 overs," he said.

"The winning percentage chasing her is around 70 percent, so we're backing our batters to chase (the New Zealand total) down."

While trans-Tasman bragging rights are up for grabs, both teams also enter the five-match series with one eye on the T20 World Cup in India later this year.

Australia, ranked second in the world in the game's shortest form, are without established stars such as Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc, who were due to visit South Africa for a now-cancelled Test series.

Instead, they are looking to unearth new talent, handing batsman Josh Philippe his debut in Christchurch.

Sixth-ranked New Zealand have an established line-up, although some such as opening bat Martin Guptill will have a point to prove after recent form struggles.

"We know we're up against a strong side in Australia and we're looking forward to the challenge," captain Kane Williamson said.

Australia have dominated their previous nine T20 meetings with New Zealand, winning seven and losing one, with one match ending tied.

Australia: Aaron Finch (capt), Matthew Wade, Josh Philippe, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Daniel Sams, Ashton Agar, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert, Kane Williamson(capt), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.

Umpires: Chris Brown (NZL), Chris Gaffaney (NZL). TV umpire: Wayne Knights (NZL) Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZL)