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Short shrift: Australia unconcerned about more ‘Bodyline’ tactics against Smith

Asked whether he was expecting more of the same from New Zealand Langer said: “I hope so … hopefully we’ll get the same results.

“Let’s keep it in perspective. We go back to England, Steve Smith got hit badly in the [second] Test, England took that approach and our guys batted beautifully after that.

“We’ve got 400 in the first innings of the last four Test matches. Our goal is to do that. If you get 400 in the first innings it means there is plenty of time for short-pitched bowling. Our guys have played it so well.

Steve Smith has had his head down working hard on confronting the short ball.

Steve Smith has had his head down working hard on confronting the short ball.Credit:Getty Images

“It’s none of our business what New Zealand do, I’m really pleased with the way our guys are handling everything New Zealand are throwing at us.

“As I said before last Test match, when someone like [Smith] isn’t scoring hundreds I actually get a smile on my face because anyone who averages 63 or 64 in Test cricket … [it] means they make a lot of hundreds. I imagine it’s not far off for him. He’s that hungry.”

Langer indicated the Australian team would remain unchanged as they seek a fifth win from five Tests this season.

Queensland leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson is in the squad and would be making his debut if chosen as a second slow bowler but Australia will likely rely on the leg spin of Marnus Labuschagne for an additional bowling option.

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“We’re talking about finding another all-rounder in Australian cricket – well it might give us an opportunity to bowl Marnus and Travis Head a few overs, to find those extra overs we’re looking for,” Langer said.

“Every time Marnus gets the ball in his hand, it’s pretty exciting. He’s working hard on getting his lines right, so he makes them play a bit more, but he’s an exciting prospect – the way he spins the ball. The more he can bowl in games, that’s important.”

Williamson and New Zealand batsman Henry Nicholls didn’t train on Wednesday due to illness but Black Caps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said he expected them at the SCG for the Kiwis’ final pre-match session on Thursday.

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