Cricket
AUS vs NZ: Test specialist Steve Smith in Australia T20 World Cup plans, confirms McDonald

AUS vs NZ: Test specialist Steve Smith in Australia T20 World Cup plans, confirms McDonald

AUS vs NZ: Steve Smith averages 25.69 in 65 T20I matches, and has scored 1079 runs, with just five fifties to his name.

Steve Smith, despite being top Test batsman, isn’t Australia’s best choice when it comes to T20Is. The former skipper of the national side last played a T20I in November 2023 against India, and didn’t enjoy a very successful run too, last year. In the last 30 matches, he has just one fifty plus score to his name.

Smith also missed the first T20I in the ongoing AUS vs NZ series. But if coach Andrew McDonald is to be believed, the 34-year-old is still in contention for the T20 World Cup 2024. And, he will most likely play the second T20I against New Zealand.

“If he wasn’t in our thinking then he wouldn’t be on the plane over here. We’re playing him for a reason. He’ll get some opportunity here, he had some opportunities in India at the back end of a World Cup and we were planning for him to play in South Africa as well going as far back as August-September,” said McDonald.

“But he unfortunately had a wrist injury at the time, so he missed those three one-dayers. But he’s definitely in the thoughts,” McDonald added.

Skipper Mitch Marsh Optimistic

On the other hand, skipper Mitchell Marsh was also confident that Smith will get a place in the team. “I’d say he’s likely to come in. Heady (Travis Head) and Davey (Warner, his opening partner) were our first choice for this match, but there’s no doubt Steve will come into calculations for the next game.

“I understand that it always raises eyebrows when Steve Smith gets left out of a team but we’re certainly building towards the World Cup and we’ll give lots of guys different opportunities over the next few games,” Marsh said.

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