Kiwis told to go for broke with uncapped quick
New Zealand selectors have been urged to throw their version of the kitchen sink - explosive fast man Lockie Ferguson - at Australia in a four-pronged first-Test pace blitz.
Former Test wicketkeeper Ian Smith, who will be part of the Fox Cricket commentary team for the three-Test series that starts on Thursday, believes the Kiwis should fight fire with fire in what shapes as a wild west pace shootout at Perth Stadium.
No matter what NZ team is chosen, Smith believes it must include the 28-year-old uncapped speed merchant Ferguson who harassed his teammates with sharp lift in the nets this week.
Stream the Australia v New Zealand Domain Test Series Live & Ad-Break Free During Play with KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly>
Ferguson is an obvious selection option if pace leader Trent Boult is ruled out with a side strain.
Boult remains a chance of playing after getting through a Wednesday night net session seemingly unscathed. He bowled for around 20 minutes at high intensity in the Optus Stadium nets.
He often troubled Kane Williamson in the high quality pink-ball session, and did not show any real signs of discomfort.
It means the 30-year-old has bowled two days in a row headed into the Test, after being injured in New Zealand's Test win over England last month.
But even if Boult is cleared Smith would still shoehorn Ferguson into the team even though the selectors reportedly have doubts about whether he should play.
"They've got to wake up and pull the curtains and find out where they are and that's Australia and that is conducive to bowling fast,'' Smith said.
"I believe he (Ferguson) should play. He's an element of the unknown. They've all seen him do very well in the World Cup, but you can't coach 145-150km/h from time to time and if it's very accurate it's very often hard to play and commands respect. I would have him.
"It's all very well for the ball to swing and seam around initially, but at 135km/h when it stops doing that, how are you looking? That's bit of a problem from New Zealand's point of view. I'd have him in the side.
"What I would think about here, knowing it hasn't had a massive history of Test cricket or spin, I might even think about playing four (fast bowlers) and just going at Australia and say, 'Fight fire with fire'."
Smith hinted spin-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Santner, a recent century-maker against England, could be a luckless casualty if Ferguson played.
"It's a difficult call, it's one they have to consider because if it's a one for one and you keep Santner in, probably Southee is the one they're looking at. But I'll bring in the pink ball to that.
"Red ball, bright sunny day late in the afternoon, I'm with you, but I just worry that late in the afternoon the pink ball kicks in all night and Southee over the years has been one of the best seam/swing bowlers that we've had. That is an asset we might just need at this particular venue.''