18 Mar 2016

Australians confident heading into Black Caps game

7:09 am on 18 March 2016

Australia are more than capable of trumping New Zealand in a World Twenty20 spin shootout, according to Shane Watson.

Australian cricketer Shane Watson

Australian cricketer Shane Watson Photo: PHOTOSPORT

A spin-friendly deck is expected for Friday's trans-Tasman clash in Dharamsala, provided predicted showers don't eventuate and a match unfolds at the foot of the Indian Himalayas.

The T20 tournament started with NZ recording a shock win over hosts and title favourites India on a raging turner in Nagpur.

Tweakers Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Nathan McCullum spun the Black Caps to the boilover, taking nine of 10 wickets.

The trio won't be lacking in confidence given Australia's well-publicised issues facing spin.

"I'm not sure if I've seen a wicket turn as much as it did," Watson said.

"That was incredible.

"Seeing how difficult it was for the Indian players as well, when the ball was turning so much, gives everyone a bit of confidence.

"Even the best players in the world against spin do struggle when the ball is turning so much."

On the flip side, the pressure will be on legspinner Adam Zampa, offspinning allrounder Glenn Maxwell and potentially left-arm tweaker Ashton Agar to deliver for Australia.

"We've definitely got the spinners to do well over here if the wickets are turning, and up here it seems like the ball is going to turn," Watson said.

"Zampa is a very good defensive Twenty20 spinner as well as being an aggressive bowler. He's got both aspects so I think he'll do very well over here.

"Agar knows Twenty20 cricket well and we've got Glenn Maxwell as well, who obviously has played a lot of cricket over here."

Watson praised NZ selectors for making the bold decision to overlook star pacemen Trent Boult and Tim Southee for the tournament opener.

"It took a lot of courage by the New Zealanders to go against the grain," the allrounder said.

"It certainly paid dividends.

"That's the flexibility you have to have in these kinds of tournaments ... and the flexibility that we have within our squad means we're able to do that."


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