'

Cricket

Image

Australia's focus turns to testing Kiwis

Australian captain Tim Paine is dismissing concern over his battered fingers while declaring paceman Mitchell Starc a certainty for the Test squad to host New Zealand.

Australia on Tuesday will name its squad for the three-Test series against the Kiwis which starts December 12 in Perth.

Paine copped a series of blows on his fingers while wicketkeeping in Australia's second Test thrashing of Pakistan in Adelaide.

"I'm used to it now, been 'keeping for a long time ... but I will be fine," Paine said on Monday night.

Starc was nursing a cut big toe but his skipper was certain the quick would be fit to front against New Zealand.

"He's waiting the nail to come off the big toe, which happens to a lot of fast bowlers," Paine said.

"And until it actually happens it can be quite painful. He's battling a little bit with that but nothing he hasn't gone through before."

Paine forecast few, if any changes, to the Test squad for the New Zealand series.

Paceman James Pattinson, seamer Michael Neser and spare batsman Cameron Bancroft rounded out Australia's 14-man squad for the Pakistan series.

"We're certainly looking to have a consistent group, there's no doubt about that," Paine said.

"To have a consistent group, you need players that are performing.

"I know the selectors are obviously rapt they can pick a consistent team because our players are starting to perform at a level that we want, so it makes their job easier."

One consideration is the lack of cricket for Neser, who stayed with the Australian team in Adelaide during the second Test while Pattinson and Bancroft were released to Sheffield Shield duties.

With another Shield round due to start on Saturday, selectors may opt to send Queenslander Neser back to domestic ranks to get some game-time.

The first Test against New Zealand is a day-night affair in Perth, followed the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and the series finale in Sydney from January 3.

--End of article--

Image

Starc praises NSW for pushing back on cuts

Star paceman Mitchell Starc says Cricket NSW deserves praise for pushing back and asking questions in response to Cricket Australia's cost-cutting mis...

Image

Windies planning for 3-test England tour

The West Indies will take several weeks to prepare in England before a planned first Test on July 8....

Image
Image