Village Voice News

First T20I between Australia and New Zealand: Will Steve Smith Make Australia’s XI Against New Zealand?

<p><strong>Wellington:</strong> Following their confirmation as the opening combination for the three-match series against New Zealand, which starts on Wednesday in Wellington, David Warner and Travis Head seem to be the opening batsmen for Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup.</p>
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<p>Mitchell Marsh, an all-rounder from Australia and the captain of the three-match T20I series, also said he would stick at the number three spot, which he has dominated in the 20-over format in previous years.</p>
<p>Australia’s top order seems set in stone ahead of the World Cup in June, with Glenn Maxwell dominating at number four and Tim David making regular contributions at number six.</p>
<p>Moreover, Smith, who was rested during the West Indies series, is unsure of his place in the team’s lineup for the World Cup given the availability of keeper-batters Josh Inglis and Matthew Wade (who will miss the start of the NZ series due to the birth of his third child) and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.</p>
<p>While acknowledging that “our top order is pretty set” in response to inquiries about his team’s preparations, Marsh also said that just a small portion of the 15-man New Zealand squad is anticipated to feature in all three games over the next six days.</p>
<p>We’ll reveal our squad at the toss, so you’ll have to find out. In answer to a question on Maxwell and Smith’s batting duties against New Zealand, Marsh said, “There will be certain guys that probably bat in different positions than they have done in the past, but ultimately we’re here to win the series,” as reported by Cricket.com.au.</p>
<p>“I’ll be there right away since I’ve batted three for the last eighteen months. I venture to guess that Heady and Davey Warner will round out the top three, since they have been outstanding for us lately.</p>
<p>“I believe that players such as Tim David are uncommon, and the position of number six in T20 cricket is perhaps the toughest. He’s a blessing to have here. He’s developed into a terrific player in that capacity, and he will undoubtedly be crucial to our success, he said.</p>
<p>The return of renowned bowlers Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc gives Australia’s squad even more power as they go ready for their last bilateral Twenty20 International Series against New Zealand before the World Cup.</p>
<p>While leading Australia T20 on a series-by-series basis and without a formal position as Aaron Finch’s successor, Marsh quipped that he was looking forward to the opportunity to surpass Cummins, the skipper of Test and ODI cricket.</p>
<p>“I am eager to direct him,” Marsh said, speaking about the switch of roles. I’ll get him back eventually, since I always cover his press appearances after he’s had enough.</p>
<p>“But I also consider myself fortunate to have Pat as a backup leader in our group and the knowledgeable individuals we have on staff who will support me at different points throughout this series.</p>
<p>“I just believe that Cummins and Starc’s expertise, especially at this level, and the three of them—along with Hazlewood—work so well together.</p>
<p>It’s a blessing that those folks are back. It’s nice to have them back and working toward a World Cup because you don’t see those players play a lot of T20 international cricket together throughout the international season,” Marsh said.</p>
<p>Australia’s last appearance in the shorter format before the T20 World Cup in the United States and the West Indies in June is a three-match series against New Zealand.</p>