The trans-Tasman rivals Australia and New Zealand are set to bring the 2015 World Cup excitement to the World T20. In the World Cup, New Zealand won the group phase match, while Australia defeated New Zealand at MCG to lift the crown. Now, Australia will start their World T20 campaign on March 18 against their Trans-Tasman nemesis New Zealand, who defeated India by 45 runs in the tournament opener at Nagpur.
Australia have an explosive batting line-up, but they lack a penetrative bowling attack which can affect their chance at the World T20. New Zealand and Australia have never met in a T20 format since 2015 World Cup.
New Zealand are one of the favourites of this World T20, they bamboozled India with their spinners-Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Nathan McCullum. Now as they play their next match at Dharamshala where spinners will not get as much assistance as Nagpur, New Zealand may bring Tim Southee in their team replacing Nathan McCullum.
A victory against their arch nemesis will help them to take a big stride towards semifinals. Australia comes into this match after their defeat to West Indies in a warm-up match. But They have defeated South Africa in a three-match series.
New Zealand: They may replace Nathan McCullum with fast bowler Tim Southee as Dharamshala pitch will assist the fast bowlers. So, three seamers and two spinners – one leg spinners and another off-spinner will work well for New Zealand. Moreover, New Zealand have better bowling attack compared to Australia keeping in mind India conditions.
Predicted XI: Martin Guptill, Kane Willaimson, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Grant Elliot, Mitchell Santner, Luke Ronchi, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne
Australia: Australia has batting attack comprising of IPL experienced David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Shane Watson. But their bowling attack has no big name. The uncertainty over Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc’s unavailability in the World T20 will be a headache for captain Steve Smith.
Predicted XI: Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson, Steve Smith, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, James Faulkner, Peter Nevill, Nathan Coulter-Nile, John Hastings, Adam Zampa
Pitch conditions: Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal scored 233 runs during the qualifying round at Dharamshala so the pitch will be batting friendly, and a high scoring match is expected. New Zealand will feel familiar with a small ground Dharamshala as their grounds back home in the country are also smaller like that of Dharmashala. So, New Zealand bowlers should be better suited on this ground to take on the might of Australia.
Weather: The match will be held in the afternoon, so there will be a warm weather and gentle air will flow which will be a perfect conditions for the Aussies and the Kiwis. The shower may come at any time, especially in the afternoon.
Time: 3 pm IST, March 18