World Cup: Australia wins toss, bats first vs. New Zealand
AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Australia won the toss and chose to bat in Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated Cricket World Cup Pool A match against New Zealand at Eden Park.
Both teams named their lineups on the eve of the game at Eden Park, with both co-hosts now injury free.
Australia captain Michael Clarke returns after nine weeks out following hamstring surgery, as one of two changes to Australia’s lineup. Clarke displaced George Bailey, the one-day captain in his absence, while Pat Cummins was preferred ahead of Josh Hazlewood as the last member of an express pace attack.
New Zealand declared its hand early, sticking with the 11 which won three matches in the first week of the tournament: beating Sri Lanka, Scotland and England.
The neighboring countries have met only rarely in one-day internationals in recent years. The last completed ODI between the teams was in 2011: they were due to meet at the 2013 Champions Trophy but that match was halted by rain.
Australia has an 11-5 record against New Zealand in one-day internationals in Auckland, winning four of the past five. It also has a 6-2 winning record in World Cup matches against New Zealand.
Though most were expecting big scores at the small Eden Park ground, there have been only three scores in excess of 300 in the past 15 matches at the Auckland stadium.
Australia: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Shane Watson, Steve Smith, Michael Clarke (captain), Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum (captain), Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Daniel Vettori, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.
Umpires: Marais Erasmus, South Africa, and Richard Illingworth, England.
TV umpire: Sundaram Ravi, India. Match