Champions Trophy Group A preview


It was a familiar dance when Steve Smith took questions ahead of Australia's Champions Trophy campaign, beginning against New Zealand at Birmingham on Friday.

Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson are all fit and poised to bowl together given conducive conditions at the tournament in England and Wales.

"Higher travel services have pushed Australia into the top position for total trade, despite China being New Zealand's top exports destination for goods such as dairy, logs, and meat", worldwide statistics senior manager Daria Kwon said.

In March, CA made an offer, proposing that the average pay of Australia's worldwide women's players would rise from $A79,000 to $A179,000, while the average remuneration of state cricketers would more than double to $A52,000.

The Champions Trophy begins today with hosts England taking on Bangladesh in the opener.

Overall, both the teams have been face-to-face in 135 matches which ended in Australia's favour 90 times and New Zealand emerged victorious in 39 ODIs.

If Pattinson does miss this game against the Black Caps, then Australia will need to decide on selecting a bowling all-rounder - John Hastings - or a batting all-rounder - Marcus Stoinis or Moises Henriques.

With the bat, Aaron Finch and David Warner provide firepower at the top of the order with world No.1 Test batsman Smith coming in at first drop.

On Friday, however, they meet on neutral territory, launching their Champions Trophy campaigns at Edgbaston.

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"For us, we're focusing on this tournament", he said. If we go two years back, these two teams played each other twice in the World Cup 2015 - in the group stage and final.

"So my focus is on that and I'll let the CA handle everything else".

Hesson says his team can't dwell on negatives if they are to win at Edgbaston, preferring to reference more recent trans-Tasman form, namely when his team won the Chappell-Hadlee series 2-0 on home soil four months ago.

"Missing out on that New Zealand series was tough to take, no doubt", Hastings said after Australia's washed-out practice match against Pakistan in Birmingham on Monday (May 29).

Smith, wary of the Kiwi pace duo, urged his batsmen to be cautious.

"They've got some good new-ball bowlers who can swing the ball around, and if there's a bit there we'll have to be quite watchful".

"There's been a lot of conversations around providing more context for Test matches, having relegation, having points for your wins, and having a Test championship at the end after two years or something like that".

"If it's a nice sunny day then it's probably going to be good for batting, and if there's a bit of cloud about then perhaps the ball might be able to shift in the air a little bit and get a bit of assistance off the wicket", Smith said.