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Australia ready for NZ test

Sky Sports Sky Sports 17/03/2016
Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Australia begin their latest quest to clinch the elusive crown of World Twenty20 champions against a confident New Zealand side in Dharamsala on Friday. 

The Kiwis are on a high after their stunning victory over tournament hosts India in the opening game.

Steve Smith's side are top of the Test rankings and won their fifth 50-over World Cup last year - beating New Zealand in the final.

Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

But they have struggled in the shortest format, making just one World Twenty20 final back in 2010 when they lost to England.

In the run-up to the tournament, they beat South Africa 2-1 last month, but were crushed 3-0 by India in January.

Veteran all-rounder Shane Watson said their key man is likely to be big-hitting off-spinning all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.

"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.

"We are going to have to play very well because they are going to be very confident leading into this game."

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 and Tim Southee.

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.

"It's a 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.

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