Smith plans WC assault with Blues brothers
FORMER Australian captain Steve Smith spent lunch on Wednesday plotting Australia's World Cup onslaught with pacemen Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.
Smith joined the quicks at NSW training at their Moore Park base before the trio had lunch.
It is understood Smith spoke about Australia's performances during their 2-1 recent 50-overs loss to South Africa before discussing potential batting line-ups for next year's tournament.
Smith and Dave Warner's bans expire in April just a month before the start of Australia's world cup defence. While Smith will be illegible to captain the side, he will resume his role as a senior player.
"He was at training," Starc said. "From all reports he has been around a little bit. Pat and I had lunch with him. He has a smile on his face. He said he is in career best bowling form. We might see him bowl a bit more in grade cricket and when he comes back in a few months time.
"He is talking about having to get back and get himself fitter. He is in good spirits.
"He talked about his grade cricket and playing in the UAE league in December. There wasn't heaps about the immediate future.
"There was a little bit of talk about World Cup time and some line-ups there. It was good to see him around here."
While Smith will embark on twenty20 tournament in the UAE, Starc is set to make himself unavailable for the rich IPL. He was been dumped by the Kolkata Knight Riders and is unlikely to put himself up for the end of year draft.
"I got a text message two days ago from Kolkata that I've been released from (my) contract," Starc said.
"At the moment I'll be home in April. I didn't go last year with my tibia injury. It was a great opportunity to freshen the body up. Barring a little niggle in my hammy I'm feeling good with my body.
"That period of time has paid off for the body. I just want to play as much Test and one day cricket for Australia. The IPL is a lovely bonus on a pay packet but if I miss that to play more test matches I'm taking that."
Starc will return to red-ball cricket when he spearheads a NSW line-up which includes Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Stephen O'Keefe and Trent Copeland against Queensland in Canberra.
The Test quartet were overlooked for Australia's T20 side to focus on first-class cricket.
"It's always nice coming back playing for NSW," Starc said. "I played a couple of games last year and that was an enjoyable time.
"The reason we weren't considered for the T20s was to get some red ball cricket before the test matches.
"Try and hit peak form coming into the test. As bowlers we are under no illusion that we can't play every game. It's important for us to find that red ball form."