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Aussies to resist playing fearsome four

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/06/2017 Ian McCullough

Skipper Steve Smith says Australia will resist the temptation to field their fearsome foursome of Pat Cummins, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood in Friday's Champions Trophy opener.

Australia face New Zealand at Edgbaston but won't make a decision on the make-up of their team until just before the game.

"I don't think we'll end up going with the four big quicks," Smith said.

"We've got a couple of options there as allrounders. 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 11 then."

With Aaron Finch rubber-stamping his spot at the top of the order alongside David Warner, Chris Lynn is likely to be unleashed at No.5 with Travis Head to follow Smith in the battling line-up at four.

It appears the late decision will centre around opting for John Hastings or Marcus Stoinis, who starred against the Black Caps earlier this year with an unbeaten century and three wickets in Auckland.

Hastings, who has been playing for English county side Worcester since April and has seven 50-over matches under his belt, looks favourite to get the nod.

However, the coaching staff have been impressed with Stoinis's performance in the nets this week.

"Stoinis did very well in New Zealand in the last series, and Hastings has done very well for us over in these conditions," Smith said.

"He's a little bit slower than the others and hits the seam and has some good skills throughout the middle as well.

"So we've got a couple of options there. So we probably won't end up going with the four big quicks to begin the series."

Pat Cummins was the pick of the quicks in the warm-up match against Sri Lanka at The Oval, returning 1-47 on a flat deck that offered little for the bowlers.

Pattinson, however, struggled with his line and length and went for 1-80 with Hazlewood expensive in his final overs to finish with 1-69.

The Victorian is the most likely to miss out with Starc almost certain to play, despite only just returning from a fractured foot sustained in India in March.

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