Kiwi great urges NZ to use four quicks

New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson must play against Australia, says former NZ Test 'keeper Ian Smith.
New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson must play against Australia, says former NZ Test 'keeper Ian Smith.

New Zealand greats Shane Bond and Ian Smith have urged the Black Caps to unleash Lockie Ferguson on Australia as part of a possible four-pronged pace attack.

The Black Caps won't confirm their team for Perth's series opener until the toss on Thursday, with Trent Boult battling to beat a side strain.

Ferguson's possible Test debut is likely to rely upon Boult's fitness, with the left-armer having another work out in the Perth Stadium nets on Wednesday night.

One of New Zealand's strengths is the stability of their bowling attack.

They have two of the best exponents of swing bowling in the world in Trent Boult and Tim Southee, while Neil Wagner is a dangerous quick and Mitchell Santner a developing finger spinner.

But former wicketkeeper Smith said Ferguson and his 150km/h thunderbolts should feature regardless in Perth, even if it meant coming at the expense of Santner.

"They've got to wake up, pull the curtains open and find out where they are and that's Australia and that is conducive to bowling fast," Smith, a Fox Cricket commentator, said.

"They've all seen him do very well in the World Cup but you can't coach 145-150kph.

"It's very accurate it's very often hard to play and commands respect.

"I might even think about playing four (fast bowlers).

"Just going at Australia and saying 'you against us, us against you, fight fire with fire'."

Colin de Grandhomme's fitness is also key, having beaten an abdominal tear and meaning he can be a fifth bowling option in the heat.

Ferguson was a star of the World Cup with 21 wickets at 19.47, while he also averages 24.30 at first-class level.

The Black Caps opted for Matt Henry over him to replace Boult in New Zealand last week, but the calls are growing louder for Ferguson's inclusion.

The 27-year-old also has the support of one of New Zealand's finest ever quicks, with Bond wanting him to feature in the series after having worked with him previously.

"You'd say he is probably consistently the fastest bowler in the world," Bond, who is now coaching Sydney Thunder, said.

"They could arguably play 4 quicks in Perth if they want to. Which would be interesting, but I don't know if they will.

"He went to the World Cup and was one of the best bowlers there. He bowled brilliantly in the final, so there's no doubt about his temperament."

Australian Associated Press