Khawaja left out again as Marsh gets the nod
Despite his red-hot form, Usman Khawaja again has been left out in the cold when it comes to Australian selection.
Skipper Steve Smith has acknowledged the left-hander would be frustrated at missing out on today's series-opening one-day international against New Zealand in Auckland.
But Smith said Shaun Marsh deserved to be the man to come into the side for injured opener Aaron Finch (hamstring).
Khawaja, who scored two tons and two half-centuries in the Big Bash for the Sydney Thunder after three Test hundreds for Australia, was overlooked for the entire one-day series against India and played in only the last T20 clash against India on Sunday.
He was due to play in the Sheffield Shield with Queensland this week, but was called into the Australian one-day squad when Finch suffered his hamstring injury.
Marsh will join David Warner at the top of the order, with Smith, George Bailey, all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Mitch Marsh and keeper Matthew Wade making up the batting line-up.
Shaun Marsh played in three of the five one-dayers against India, scoring 71, 62 and 7, before adding 23 and 9 in two of the T20 clashes.
"Shaun's been in the squad, he played well in Australia (against India) and I think he deserves the first opportunity, so he's going to get that out here tomorrow," Smith told reporters yesterday.
"No doubt (Khawaja) will be frustrated. He's hitting the ball extremely well but the one-day side is a tough side to break into.
"I said before, we're the current world champions. We've been playing some very good one-day cricket and the batters have been scoring lots of runs. We scored 300 on every occasion in the recent one-day series at home.
"I'm sure if he (Khawaja) gets an opportunity he'll take it with both hands."
The Aussies have two more one-dayers - on Saturday in Wellington and Monday in Hamilton - before the Test series starts next Friday in Wellington.
"I think he will play one of the games at least. He does need a hit going into what is a big Test series for us and he's batting extremely well," Smith said.
Josh Hazlewood returns after playing just one of the 50-over games against India to lead the bowling attack, alongside James Faulkner, John Hastings and Kane Richardson, with Scott Boland and leg-spinner Adam Zampa joining Khawaja on the sidelines.
Coming off series wins over Pakistan and Sri Lanka at home, New Zealand will have skipper Brendon McCullum back from a back injury for his farewell series. He will retire after the Tests.
While McCullum still may not be at full fitness and Ross Taylor has been left out to get himself right for the Tests, the Black Caps have two batsmen ranked in the top 10 in the world, Kane Williamson (4th) and Martin Guptill (9th). Australia has one, Maxwell (8th).
The hosts also have the top-ranked bowler in ODIs, Trent Boult, backed by Matt Henry, though Tim Southee is rested.