Australia sent a second-string side to New Zealand and the Blackcaps feasted on the new-look team in the opening T20 clash, storming to a 53-run win in Christchurch.
New Zealand quicks Tim Southee and Trent Boult tore through the visitors’ top order early, and while a 45-run Mitch Marsh cameo gave Australia a glimmer of hope, they were bowled out well short of the required 185 to win in 17.3 overs.
Australia lost captain Aaron Finch, T20 international debutant Josh Philippe, wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade and the dangerous Glenn Maxwell inside five overs, as the away side plummeted to 4-19.
Australia were forced to select a T20 squad stripped of a host of stars because the Test squad was due to tour South Africa at the same time, and although the series was cancelled due to COVID-19, the likes of Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc weren’t drafted in.
Star batsman David Warner joined the Fox Cricket commentary box for the clash and said post-match that Australia had some major problems to address.
“Australia took early wickets in the powerplay as well. New Zealand were able to have a batter in there at the end and post that total, and they applied the pressure straight away with a couple of early wickets in their powerplay,” Warner said.
“You’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and … go back to your plans and see what you did wrong and see if you can learn from your dismissals.
“As you talk about with death bowling as well; what can you do better towards the death? Conway played well; now where do they bowl to him next game?
“There are other guys as well. Glenn Phillips could go off. Kane Williamson can bat 20 overs, Martin Guptill can get back into form, so there are a lot of other areas Australia have got to worry about.”