Smith, who is one of the best Test and ODI batters in the world, has been found wanting in T20I cricket. The former Australian skipper has managed 1004 runs at a below-par average of 25.74 in 62 T20Is he has played.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra opined that Smith will struggle to make the defending champions' XI. He explained:
"I was just going through the team to see what could be Australia's playing XI - you will have Aaron Finch with David Warner, then you will have Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade, then how will Steve Smith get a place. It is difficult for Steve Smith to get a place in this team."
The former India opener picked Australia's bowling as their plus point. He elaborated:
"This team's strength is their bowling. Bowling is unbelievable. Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins is okay but he will do the job, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Glenn Maxwell - which is the box this team does not tick?"
Chopra added that the Aussies will make serious attempts to accommodate Cameron Green in the XI. Apart from the aforementioned players, Tim David will likely play the finisher's role for the hosts.
"Five fingers make a fist" - Aakash Chopra on expectations from New Zealand
While highlighting Kane Williamson's indifferent recent returns, Chopra picked New Zealand gelling together as a unit as their biggest strength. He observed:
"What do you expect from New Zealand? Five fingers make a fist, that is their specialty. Kane Williamson has struck only one half-century in one year. We don't know if Finn Allen will play or not. Along with Martin Guptill, you will have Devon Conway, who is a good player. There will be a slight focus on Glenn Phillips."
Chopra reckons the Black Caps will likely field Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson as their three seamers. The reputed commentator stated:
"In bowling, Boult is not picking up wickets. He is a phenomenal bowler but he is not picking up wickets. Tim Southee is picking up wickets, Lockie Ferguson will pick up wickets, I see these three fast bowlers playing. Along with them, you will have to see how the pitch is because Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and they also have Bracewell in this team."
Adam Milne is the other seam bowler in New Zealand's squad. James Neesham will likely feature in their XI as a seam-bowling all-rounder.
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