Australia in New Zealand, 2nd T20 cricket live: Scores, results, Steve Smith role

Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of Australia’s T20I against New Zealand from Eden Park, Auckland.

Australia claimed a last-ball win over New Zealand in the first T20I in Wellington on Wednesday, so the Kiwis will be out for revenge.

Tim David’s 10-ball 31 saved the day for Australia.

Eden Park will likely be a high-scoring affair, with Australia having claimed its biggest ever T20I chase at the ground in 2018, when tracking down New Zealand’s 6/243.

Play is scheduled to start at 5.10pm AEDT.

4.30pm — Australia comes clean on Smith T20 snub

Steve Smith came into the series seemingly needing to impress across all three games of the series to hold his place in the Aussie side, but was left out of game one.

It was a bitter blow for Smith, who is most likely to slot in at the top of the order if he forced his way into the squad, despite the likes of David Warner, Travis Head and Josh Inglis being ahead of him in the pecking order.

But while it appeared to be curtains for Smith’s T20 World Cup aspirations, coach Andrew McDonald has left the door ajar for one of Australia’s greatest ever batters.

Smith will play at Eden Park and open the batting after McDonald revealed the Aussies’ plans.

The three-match T20 series is taking a back seat in planning, with those players doing double duty in white and red ball cricket sharing their time between the formats.

McDonald said that Smith just being there showed he was still in Australia’s planning for the T20 World Cup.

“If he wasn’t in our thinking then he wouldn’t be on the plane over here,” McDonald said of Smith following Australia’s thrilling first-up win over NZ at Wellington on Wednesday evening.

“We’re playing him for a reason.

“He’ll get some opportunity here, he had some opportunities in India at the back end of a World Cup and we were planning for him to play in South Africa as well going as far back as August-September (last year), but he unfortunately had a wrist injury at the time, so he missed those three one-dayers.

“But he’s definitely in the thoughts. We’ll probably play him in a slightly different role to what we’ve seen in previous World Cups in T20 cricket.

“He’s gone to the top of the order in recent times, so batting high up there’s still competition for places.

“I suppose that’s a good problem to have.”

McDonald added there were 20 players in contention for the World Cup and the final 15-man squad had not been settled.

He added the IPL would also help finalise the decision.

Smith went unsold at the 2024 IPL auction.

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