Toss New Zealand chose to bat v Australia
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Mitchell McClenaghan returns for New Zealand for the first time since suffering a facial fracture against Pakistan in January © AFP
Kane Williamson won the toss and New Zealand will bat first against Australia in Dharamsala.
New Zealand made one change to the team that beat India in Nagpur, with fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan included at the expense of Nathan McCullum. It meant that New Zealand had moved away from the three-man spin attack that served them so well in game one, but perhaps surprisingly the Australians opted for three spinners themselves.
The make-up of Australia’s side has been the subject of much debate over the past couple of series, and the most notable omissions for their first game of this World T20 were Aaron Finch and Josh Hazlewood. Finch is No. 1 on the ICC’s T20 international batting rankings and six weeks ago was Australia’s captain, but Usman Khawaja and Shane Watson have been preferred as openers.
Hazlewood had appeared the only certain selection among the specialist fast bowlers but that too proved incorrect, with Nathan Coulter-Nile picked instead. Australia will rely heavily on seaming allrounders – Watson, James Faulkner and Mitchell Marsh – and their three spinners.
Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar were both named alongside Glenn Maxwell. It meant that Australia had chosen four men – Khawaja, Agar, Zampa and Peter Nevill – who had not debuted in T20 internationals two months ago.
Rain had been forecast but the weather has been kind to the teams and the fans, with the match set to start on time and in fine conditions. The pitch was dry and Steven Smith expected it to slow as the match wore on, and indicated he too would have batted had he won the toss.
Australia 1 Shane Watson, 2 Usman Khawaja, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 David Warner, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 James Faulkner, 8 Peter Nevill (wk), 9 Ashton Agar, 10 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 11 Adam Zampa
New Zealand 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Kane Williamson (capt), 3 Colin Munro, 4 Corey Anderson, 5 Ross Taylor, 6 Mitchell Santner, 7 Grant Elliott, 8 Luke Ronchi (wk), 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Adam Milne, 11 Ish Sodhi
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo