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"You'll have to be at your best to beat us", Watson warns NZ

Cricket

Shane Watson has given New Zealand a cheeky reminder of their woeful record against Australia.

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The trans-Tasman rivals clash in mountainous Dharamsala on Friday, when Australia’s World Twenty20 campaign starts.

The Black Caps began their search for a maiden T20 title in sizzling fashion, shocking favourites and hosts India in the tournament opener by 47 runs.

However, their record against Australia in the pressure-cooker environment at the World Cup and Champions Trophy is far from creditable.

The two sides have played a total of 15 Cup and Trophy matches, with NZ having won just three of them.

Two of those victories came in Auckland, including last year’s epic at Eden Park.

The Black Caps snuck home by one wicket in that World Cup pool match, while Australia dished out a seven-wicket thumping in the final of that tournament.

“There’s no doubt that the Kiwis always play very well and they always punch above their weight,” Watson said before NZ’s win over India.

“They’ve been playing very good cricket… but knowing the history I’ve had playing against the Kiwis, we’ve always played very well against them.

“There’s a good rivalry and a good history there as well in big games… hopefully it follows a similar route.”

Watson planned on reminding NZ of that fact on Friday at HPCA Stadium.

“There’s still quite a few players who are still there in that New Zealand team who know that history – and have been involved in the history as well,” the allrounder said.

“So we’ll certainly be letting them know of that as well, because they’re going to have to be at their absolute best to beat us.”

The 2016 World T20, the sixth edition of the tournament, is the first time the two sides have met at the event.

Australian cricket team practices ahead of  its match against New Zealand during the ICC World Twenty20 2016 cricket at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium in Dharamsala, India, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. (AP Photo /Ashwini Bhatia)

HIMALAYAN TASK: The team practices ahead of its match at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium in Dharamsala, India. Photo: Ashwini Bhatia, AP.

Relations between the teams were incredibly cordial during recent Test series in Australia and New Zealand.

But things were far more heated in the 2015 World Cup final, when Brad Haddin and James Faulkner gave NZ allrounder Grant Elliott a send-off.

Elliott, who scored nine in the side’s shock win over India early yesterday, also copped a spray in an ODI series decider last month in Hamilton.

“Only a f***ing coward sledges people when they walk off,” Matthew Wade said, frustrated by something Elliott said soon after Mitch Marsh was controversially dismissed.

Elliott responded: “Wadey, love your work buddy”, before umpire Ian Gould restored order.

NZ’S RARE TOURNAMENT JOY AGAINST AUSTRALIA:

* 1992: 37-run win in World Cup pool match in Auckland

* 1999: five-wicket win in World Cup pool match in Cardiff

* 2015: one-wicket win in World Cup pool match in Auckland

-AAP

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