Australia captain Smith says team must adapt
Australia captain Steve Smith told his team they need to adjust quickly to conditions in their first one-day international against New Zealand.
The 2015 Cricket World Cup finalists and trans-Tasman rivals meet in a three-match ODI series starting Wednesday.
Ahead of the series opener in Auckland, Smith warned Australia their chances would rely heavily on making adjustments.
“We’ve been playing a lot of cricket. We’ve just come off a one-day series at home,” he told a news conference.
“The guys know about adapting to conditions, we need to do it a lot better than we have done previously and we’ve got a good opportunity to do that out here tomorrow. It’s going to be a big challenge for us.
“New Zealand have some very good swing bowlers. Trent Boult [is] number one in the world at the moment, he’s in great form and hopefully we’ll be able to counteract whatever he brings at us.”
Coach Darren Lehmann is absent for the ODI series as he continues his recovery from deep vein thrombosis.
Aaron Finch is sidelined for Australia, with his place at the top of the order to be taken by Shaun Marsh.
That means Usman Khawaja, called into the squad to replace Finch, has missed out again despite his superb form.
Australia come into the series on the back of a 4-1 ODI win over India, who took out the Twenty20s 3-0.
New Zealand have been in limited-overs action since late last year, beating Sri Lanka and Pakistan in both ODIs and T20s.
Captain Brendon McCullum, who is retiring after the Test series against Australia, said these were the ODIs his team were looking forward to.
“I think right through the summer we were very keen on remaining focused on what we had in front of us and obviously Sri Lanka and Pakistan were both very good challenges for us,” he said.
“But I think from every fan in New Zealand’s point of view and I guess all the guys in the change room as well, this is certainly one we’ve been waiting for.
“It’ll be a good opportunity for us to test out our skills against the best team in the world in our own conditions.”
While Australia have opted against using Adam Zampa in the first ODI, the hosts called Ish Sodhi into their squad with predictions the Eden Park pitch may turn.