As it is clear that a couple of players are battling it out to make a place in the Playing XI, Australian skipper Steven Smith has revealed there would be slim chances to go with their main four fast bowlers against Kane Williamson-led New Zealand, in their opener of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
“I don’t think we’ll end up going with the four big quicks,” Smith was quoted as saying by Cricket.com.au
Smith, who seemed to have liking for Marcus Stoinis, stated that the all-rounder did well in the past against Black Caps while staying John Hastings has been handy with the ball in English conditions.
“[Marcus] 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,” Smith remarked.
The 28-year-old Smith, in one way or another, has hinted for the final spot which is highly likely going to take place between Marcus Stoinis and John Hastings.
“We’ve got a couple of options there as all-rounders. “It probably doesn’t matter a great deal,” Smith remarked.
It’s pertinent to note, Stoinis scored a remarkable 146 at the Eden Park in his second match which further saw three wickets to his name earlier this year.
“It’s obviously slightly different conditions here to New Zealand; different ground, different circumstances. A few guys are back in the team. So we’ll wait and see what we feel is the best option tomorrow,” Smith stated.
Smith revealed he would like to assess the conditions taking place in the morning before picking the team for the match.
“We’re going to have a look at the conditions in the morning, see what the forecast is like, and we’ll decide our final XI then,” Smith said in his presser.
The 27-year-old Stoinis, who was nursing shoulder injury which he picked in the recently concluded Indian Premier League, has made his return early while practising hard at the nets.
“He [Stoinis] actually felt just as quick as some of the other quicks, to be honest, in the nets. He’s coming along nicely,” Smith concluded.
However, it would be interesting to see whether hard-hitting sensation Chris Lynn gets a game straight away.
Australia is scheduled to face arch-rivals New Zealand in their opening fixtures of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy in the Group A game at Edgbaston in Birmingham on June 2 (Friday).