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Aussies eye Eden Park improvement

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 29/01/2017

Australia's batsmen will have to overturn their recent horrific record at Eden Park if they are to get their Chappell-Hadlee series campaign off to a winning start.

The Aussies have struggled with the bat in their past two one-day visits to the ground, rolled for 148 and 151 as New Zealand's quicks have done the damage with the swinging ball.

And it's something the Australians are all too aware that needs to change if they are to defend the trophy they won at home last month according to left-arm quick Mitchell Starc.

"It presents a different challenge to what some of the guys might have seen recently in Australia," Starc said.

"The swinging ball and a little bit in the wicket.

"But all the guys are here for a reason because they're good enough to play for their country."

The series also forms part of a bigger picture in Australia's long-term preparations.

While some of the squad will head to India for the four-Test series following the one-dayers, the next big limited overs tournament will be played in similar conditions in England, with June's Champions Trophy.

Something which Starc believes the Aussie batsman will be casting one eye towards.

"Whether its our testing our defences or being able to battle the swinging ball that NZ are going to present to us it's a good challenge for us," he said.

"I think moving forward through this series it's about winning and keeping the Chappell-Hadlee but then moving onto the Champions Trophy."

The series could also act as a trial in some ways for the likes of Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh ahead of the June tournament, with captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Usman Khawaja all rested or injured.

It will therefore be the last chance for them to state their case in one-day cricket before the squads for the competition are named.

"Sure, we've got the captain and vice captain not with us," Starc said.

"But it's an opportunity for guys who have been around the team to come in and perform well and a chance for them to cement a spot in the team."

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