Cricket
Why is Steve Smith not playing in AUS vs NZ 1st T20I?

Why is Steve Smith not playing in AUS vs NZ 1st T20I?

Australia's ODI skipper Steve Smith has been left out of the playing XI for the AUS vs NZ 1st T20I at the Sky Stadium in Wellington

Australia have decided to leave out star batter Steve Smith from the playing XI for AUS vs NZ 1st T20I. Smith, who returned to the skipper’s role in the ODIs vs WI, found no place in the XI. This will be Australia’s final bilateral assignment before the T20 World Cup 2024.

AUS vs NZ 1st T20I: Smith left out of XI

Smith failed to secure a spot in the XI, give Australia’s depth in terms of skilled T20I batters. The top-three spots in the batting order is something Australia are sticking on to and will not touch. Warner, Head and skipper Marsh – all three who have a reputation in the shortest format – are arguably the best starters for the visitors.

Smith, who has delved into the role of an opener in Tests, is of no match to the rest of his teammates. The middle-order is solidified with Inglis, Maxwell and David, leaving no room for Smudge in the XI. New Zealand have won the toss and have opted to bat first in the game.

Australia XI: Travis Head, David Warner, Mitchell Marsh (c), Glenn Maxwell, Josh Inglis (wk), Tim David, Matt Short, Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood

New Zealand XI: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Mitch Santner (c), Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson

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