Dharamsala - Australia begin their latest
quest Friday to clinch the elusive crown of World Twenty20 champions against a
New Zealand side who are on a high after their stunning victory over tournament
Steve Smith's side top the Test rankings
and won their fifth 50 over World Cup last year by crushing New Zealand in the
final in the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
But for all their dominance in the older
formats, Australia have struggled in 20 over cricket and have only once made
the final of the World T20, back in 2010 when they lost to England.
Veteran all-rounder Shane Watson said
Australia would not hold back from reminding their trans-Tasman rivals about
the outcome of last year's World Cup when they meet again in Friday's match in
But he acknowledged the Black Caps would be
no pushovers this time and would be full of confidence after their shock 47-run
victory over red-hot favourites India on Tuesday.
"We are going to have to play very
well because they are going to be very confident leading into this game,"
Watson told reporters in the Himalayan hill town which is home to the Dalai
A 3-0 home defeat to India in January
underlined Australia's frailties in T20 cricket although there were encouraging
signs earlier last month when they beat South Africa 2-1 away.
In Johannesburg, Glenn Maxwell spanked a
career best 75 off 43 balls in a world record fourth wicket stand of 161 with
David Warner, highlighting the all-rounder’s growing importance to the team.
"Glenn Maxwell is a huge player in our
team," said Watson.
"The way he bats, whether the ball is
turning or whether it's not turning, his array of shots when he gets into his
innings is incredible. He hits the ball around the ground."
Maxwell is also expected to be busy bowling
his off breaks against a side who struggled against India's spinners.
New Zealand spinners Ish Sodhi, Mitchell
Santner and Nathan McCullum shared nine wickets against the Indians, leaving
the selectors with a headache over whether to bring back pacemen Trent Boult or
Coach Mike Hesson has been trying to keep
the team's feet on the ground since the India win, telling New Zealand radio
that qualification for the semis in a pool that also includes Pakistan and
Bangladesh is a tough ask.
"Great start for us but we know that
even just getting out of the pool is going to be incredibly difficult," he
told Newstalk ZB.
New Zealand (from): Kane Williamson (captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Martin Guptill, Grant Elliott, Colin Munro, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
Australia (from): Steven Smith (captain), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, John Hastings, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Nevill, Andrew Tye, Shane Watson, Adam Zampa