Australia wins the toss and elects to bat

Australian captain Steve Smith has won the toss and Australia will bat first in the opening Test against New Zealand in Brisbane.

The Gabba pitch has a typical green tinge to it but Smith is confident his side’s new-look top order can handle it.

Brendon McCullum noted pre-match he was also keen to bat first.


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Nonetheless Trent Boult and Tim Southee will provide a major challenge in the morning session, when the ball is expected to be hooping around.

NSW paceman Josh Hazlewood, who was dumped by Australia for the fifth Ashes Test, returns at the expense of Peter Siddle while Doug Bracewell is the visitors’ third paceman, having been picked ahead of Matt Henry.

A maximum of 30C is predicted today, with a chance of showers in the morning and afternoon.

The humidity is not expected to be as crippling as it was in last year’s Test, when Mitchell Starc, Hazlewood and Mitch Marsh all left the field under duress.

Australia XI: David Warner, Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (capt), Adam Voges, Mitch Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.

New Zealand XI: Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (capt), Jimmy Neesham, BJ Watling, Mark Craig, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

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