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Aust set to stick with ODI winning formula

AAP logoAAP 5/12/2016 Steve Zemek

Australia appear set to stick with the same side for Tuesday's second one-dayer against New Zealand in Canberra, spelling bad news for controversial allrounder Glenn Maxwell.

Darren Lehmann's under-pressure side made an emphatic start to the Chappell-Hadlee series on Sunday in Sydney, running out 68-run winners thanks to a Steve Smith ton.

Minimal changes are expected for the return clash against the Black Caps at Manuka Oval, especially in the wake of middle order batsman Travis Head's important half-century which had helped steer the Aussies out of trouble.

Head, calling it his best performance in his 13 appearances since his debut in the West Indies earlier in the year, has become a roadblock to Maxwell's return to the side.

While Head was at great lengths to emphasise he didn't feel like his place in the middle order was set in stone, he predicted Lehmann was unlikely to ring in any changes.

"I'm not expecting too much (change) when you win like we did yesterday," Head said.

"It's not my job to do that. I get told where I'm put and try to perform.

"The pressure is always on in the side. You've got James Faulkner and Glenn who are fantastic players in any cricket side. You've probably got five guys that are banging down the door that aren't in the squad."

Lehmann has options after resting Maxwell and Faulkner in game one. The side did not train on Monday.

He could elect to rest paceman Pat Cummins, after his first international game back from a long-term back injury.

Head's 52 off 60 balls was vital in the context of Australia's innings on Sunday as he and Smith came together at 4-94 before putting on 127 for the fifth wicket.

It was Head's second ODI half-century and he described it as his best international performance to date.

There is a growing belief the 22-year-old South Australian captain is beginning to come into his own and his Sheffield Shield ton against Victoria has earned special praise from Smith.

"I felt comfortable in my 13 games; it's just a matter of getting a score," Head said.

"I've said that about the 12 previous games - I want to win games of cricket for Australia. I want to be there at the end. I wasn't able to do that yesterday but I was able to contribute to a win which was satisfying, Hopefully tomorrow, it's a not-out or a really big score."

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