Mitchell Starc of Australia bowls against New Zealand at the SCG in December.
Mitchell Starc of Australia bowls against New Zealand at the SCG in December. Mark Kolbe

Starc warning for Australian batsmen against Kiwis

CRICKET: Mitchell Starc says Australia's batsmen will have to pare back on their attacking tendencies in what are expected to be bowler-friendly conditions for the first game of the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series in Auckland today.

The Eden Park pitch is set to give quick bowlers assistance, while atmospheric conditions should also make it difficult for both teams' batters.

Starc said it was important for the Aussies not to get too far ahead of themselves against a strong Kiwi seam attack.

"We've spoken about giving ourselves a bit more time,” he said.

"For somewhere like here where it's probably going to swing and nip a bit, just giving yourself a chance to get in and see some balls as batsmen.

"You've always got a lot more time than you think, especially in 50-over cricket where you don't have to score 300 in the first 40 overs of the game, you can make it up at the back end.”

Starc has only played once in an one-day international in New Zealand.

That was on the same Eden Park venue in a classic World Cup group clash in 2015.

On that day the left-arm paceman was at his brilliant best, almost salvaging a win for the Australians after the team was bowled out for 151 batting first.

Starc claimed career-best figures of 6-28 to give the visitors an unlikely look at a victory before Kane Williamson slammed a six over long-off to seal a remarkable success.

The left-armer remembered the day well and was hoping for similar conditions today to help him celebrate his 27th birthday.

"Ball actually dominated bat for a change, as opposed to the other way around as was the case for most the games over the past 12 months,” Starc said.

"It probably offers a bit more in the air and off the wicket than what we've seen in the last few games in Australia as well.

"It's something the quicks are excited about, there's probably a bit more in it.”

Today's clash is the first of a three-match series for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

Australia holds the trophy after a convincing 3-0 series win in December on home soil.

But the team might not find it so easy to win this series without the likes of skipper Steven Smith, who will miss the three matches because of an ankle problem, and vice-captain David Warner, who is being rested.

Usman Khawaja will also be missing from the Australian line-up, with he and Warner putting their feet up before heading to Dubai for some training sessions ahead of next month's daunting Test series in India.

Starc said the experience of their replacements Shaun Marsh and Aaron Finch should limit the impact as wicketkeeper Matthew Wade takes over as captain.

Queensland youngster Sam Heazlett was also drafted into the squad for the three games.

The 21-year-old has not played a 50-over match for his state but could make his international debut today.

The Black Caps yesterday confirmed they will go into the game with an extra batsman, with left-handed opener Tom Latham set to take the wicketkeeping role.



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