London - Steve Smith said Australia were unlikely to field all their 'fearsome
foursome' of fast bowlers against New Zealand in their Champions Trophy
opener against New Zealand on Friday.
Injuries have meant the
quartet of Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and James
Pattinson have rarely all been fit at the same time.
Australia have decided it's too much of a risk fielding all four in the
same team, with John Hastings - who has plenty of English county
experience - also in the squad.
"I don't think we'll end up going with the four big quicks," Australia captain Smith told reporters at Edgbaston on Thursday.
"We've got a couple of options there as all-rounders.
Stoinis did very well in New Zealand in the last series, and Hastings
has done very well for us over in these conditions.
"He's a little bit slower than the others and hits the seam and has some good skills throughout the middle as well."
Cummins, whose career has been blighted by several back stress
fractures, just being in contention again is something of a relief.
24-year-old made his international debut in 2011, yet the fact he's
played just three Tests and 28 one-day internationals since then is
testament to how much time Cummins has spent on the treatment table.
But he now believes his body can withstand the rigours of international cricket.
now feel that because I'm a couple of years older, and because I had a
full off-season at pretty low intensity, my body was a bit more hardened
than it used to be when I did come back," Cummins explained.
fast bowler Starc, arguably the world's leading 'yorker' bowler, has
recovered from a foot injury that cut short his tour of India, while
Pattinson has returned from shin and back problems.
boast one of the most powerful top orders in ODI cricket, with captain
Smith and opener David Warner outstanding batsmen in all formats.
could add extra firepower by including Chris Lynn, who shot to
worldwide prominence earlier this year with a sensational Indian Premier
League campaign, averaging nearly 50 for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Zealand beat Australia in a thrilling pool match in Auckland at the
2015 World Cup only to lose to their trans-Tasman rivals in the final in
Friday's encounter at
Birmingham's Edgbaston ground is set to feature several survivors, with
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson the star turn in a top order that
also includes Martin Guptill.
Blackcaps pacemen Tim Southee and
Trent Boult are proven performers in England, but Southee said: "We know
the conditions, but you can't rely on that."
New Zealand beat
Australia 2-0 in a home ODI series earlier this year and Williamson said
Thursday: "We have played each other a lot, and we are fairly familiar
with each other but teams are always trying to do (things) slightly
"For us it's trying to attack it as best we can. You
come into these one-off clashes, they are very different, perhaps just
being involved in a series."
This latest trans-Tasman clash takes
place against the backdrop of a bitter pay dispute between Cricket
Australia and their players.
"We know that the ACA (Australian Cricketers' Association) is handling everything back home," Smith said on Thursday.
us, our focus is on this tournament, and it needs to be because we're
coming up against some good opposition. It's a very cut-throat
"You need to be switched on the whole time."
It was in Birmingham four years ago where Australia's campaign at the last Champions Trophy foundered, on and off the field.
Edgbaston defeat by England in their opening game was followed by
Warner punching England batsman Joe Root in a Birmingham bar in the
early hours of the next morning - a clash that saw Australia suspend
Warner from the opening two Tests of that year's Ashes.