Steve Smith hogs spotlight ahead of Oz-Kiwi Test series

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Sydney, Mar.14 (ANI): Michael Clarke's New South Wales teammate Steve Smith could find himself in the spotlight by Friday, when the first Test between Australia and New Zealand begins.

The 20-year-old leg-spinner is fresh from a stunning return of 7-64 in South Australia's second innings in the Sheffield Shield match in Sydney.

According to Fox Sports, Smith's 772 Shield runs this summer at 77.20, including four centuries, have put him right in the frame for a Test debut at the expense of out-of-form West Australian Marcus North.

North, who has averaged under 25 in Shield cricket, has no warm-up game in Wellington in the coming days to prove his worth, having failed to grasp his opportunities in the Test series in January against Pakistan when he averaged 10.25.

Queensland quick Ryan Harris, who took eight wickets in the first four one-day international games against New Zealand before being rested for game five on Saturday with a toe complaint, is expected to be fit for the Test if required.

The uncapped Harris and one-Test Victorian paceman Clint McKay will be competing for a spot alongside Doug Bollinger and Mitchell Johnson. (ANI)

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