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Aus debutant learns from NZ icon McCullum

NZN 31/01/2017 Rob Forsaith

One of New Zealand's favourite sons has helped fast-track the development of Australia's latest cricket debutant Sam Heazlett.

Heazlett scored four on ODI debut at Eden Park, where Australia suffered a six-run loss to NZ despite a remarkable knock of 146 not out from Marcus Stoinis.

The 21-year-old, who was capped at international level prior to playing a one-day game for home state Queensland, is expected to be dropped if Matthew Wade passes a fitness test prior to Thursday's clash in Napier.

But should stand-in skipper Wade remain sidelined by back spasms, Heazlett will again be called upon as Australia bid to square the three-match series.

The talented batsman will have the advice of national coach Darren Lehmann on his mind, but also that of New Zealand icon Brendon McCullum.

Brisbane Heat skipper McCullum, who ended a productive international career last year, was a mentor for Heazlett during the Big Bash League.

"Playing under him at the Heat was amazing," Heazlett said on Tuesday.

"He instilled that confidence in you, to back your abilities and go out there and take risks because you're good enough.

"He said the same message to the whole team and I can take that into the next few series that I play and into the future, because it worked well and I think it's a good way to go about cricket."

It is also an approach that Lehmann approves of.

Heazlett, who was a shock addition to the 14-man Australian touring party following skipper Steve Smith's ankle injury, didn't have a sleepless night on Sunday because he had no idea he would play for Australia the following day.

The butterflies started when Lehmann rushed over to break the news at Eden Park, where Wade failed a fitness test on the morning of the game.

"I was a little bit nervous but no more than any other cricket game. I'm usually pretty nervous," Heazlett said.

"Darren had a chat and just said bat the way you have been, back yourself.

"It's good to have that backing from the coach."

Heazlett was thrilled to start his international career but couldn't have been more disappointed with his dismissal, which capped a staggering collapse of 6-58 from the visitors.

"It was just one of those days when it didn't work out," he said.

"We'll see what happens for the rest of the series. If I get another go, then great.

"It was pretty annoying not to score a few more ... I'm just looking to bat longer, be positive."

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