New Delhi: Heavyweights Australia and New Zealand will battle it out in an enthralling encounter of the ICC World Twenty20 campaign in a Super 10, Group 2 match at the HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala on Friday.
The Black Caps started the coveted tournament with a victory against favourites India in Nagpur. Under Kane Williamson, the Kiwis look like a formidable side and are strong as a unit. It will be interesting to see whether the experienced duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee make a return to the playing XI especially after the spinners did well in their first game.
Australia on the other hand, come from a 2-1 series victory against South Africa and will want to get hold of the tie, given it is their opening encounter. Steve Smith had got an opportunity to tinker with the playing XI and the side's composition will be the key.
Australian team is rich in batting and all-round department and therefore plenty of fireworks are expected in Himalaya's own lap on Friday.
Here are the players to watch out for in the tie.
David Warner (Australia): The left-handed opening batsman is likely to bat at No. 4 after a brilliant show against South Africa at that position. With Shane Watson and Aaron Finch upfront, Warner will have a key role alongside skipper Smith to dictate the proceedings in between. Warner's ability of clean and clear strikes will just be the attributes Australia need against a good Kiwi bowling unit.
Josh Hazlewood (Australia): The Aussie pacer has been the leader in absence of Mitchell Starc and has taken the role with utmost responsibility. Hazlewood's discipline and mixing-up the deliveries will be the key against NZ opening duo. Hazlewood will need to get early wickets and with some other fine all-rounders, Aussies could go in for an attack in middle overs.
Martin Guptill (New Zealand): Martin has been New Zealand's most consistent batsman of late and his aggressive approach upfront is a positive factor for his side. With Williamson alongside him, Guptill has the license to go all out and take the game to the opposition. Despite hitting a six off the first ball, he failed in the first game against India. But on Friday, he will be hungry to shine.
Mitchell Santner (New Zealand): The young all-rounder won hearts with his impressive outing against India in Nagpur and will be keen to have a similar show in Dharamsala. Santner's brilliance with the ball is backed by his ability to contribute with the bat and his 18 runs against India was the turning point. Santner will be eager to bowl against a powerful Aussie batting unit.