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Smith excited about Cummins' return

AAP logoAAP 29/11/2016 Darren Walton

Skipper Steve Smith is excited to welcome back Pat Cummins' "air speed" as New Zealand brace to stare down Australia's most potent pace attack for Sunday's ODI series opener in Sydney.

Cummins is set to start his first international since September 2015 due to stress fractures in his back and Smith is salivating at the prospect of the injury-plagued tearaway teaming with Test spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

"It looked like he bowled particularly well in the Matador Cup . It looked like he bowled with some good pace so it's nice to have the option of Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins at our disposal," Smith told AAP on Wednesday.

"It's very exciting."

It's also a far cry from Australia's last one-day series in South Africa, when the visitors were whitewashed 5-0 in the absence of Smith and their frontline three quicks.

"It's a little bit different. Obviously the two big guns - Starc and Hazlewood - weren't there and Patty wasn't quite ready then," the captain said.

"So it's nice to have that, I guess, air speed again and guys that are quite experienced at this level so great to have them come back."

Speaking from the CommBank Cricket Club, a grassroots program that provides funding to local clubs, Smith had his fingers crossed that Cummins could avoid breaking down this summer and make a push for Australia's tour of India in February.

"So far he's going pretty well," he said.

"So obviously he's going to play these one-dayers. I dare say he'll play the one-dayers at the back end of the summer as well and I think after Christmas he might be playing some Shield cricket.

"So we'll wait and see how he goes, how his body holds up and it's great to see him back on the park and bowling with some good gas.

"India's possible. He's obviously got to play some Shield cricket first and see how he goes. He's got to be performing at the same time as well."

Shellharbour-born legspinner Adam Zampa's first crack at an ODI in Australia will come on the SCG wicket and Smith is also keen to see how that goes.

"He's done a great job since he's come on board with the Australian team. He's improved a lot over the last couple of years and I'm sure he's going to continue to improve as well," he said.

"He took a few wickets in the Shield last week and he's improving every day so there's no reason why he can't continue hopefully to put performances on the board for South Australia and put his hand up for Test selection at some point."

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