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Smith all smiles as Test stars find form

Test skipper thrilled with his own form and that of his fast bowlers against Western Australia

Australia captain Steve Smith celebrated his return to form and the potency of his potential Test pace attack after they performed a demolition job on Tuesday.

Smith added 127 to his first innings 76 in Sydney and then had the perfect view as his NSW quicks utilised reverse swing to skittle WA, who lost 10-44 after an opening partnership of 179.

While the Test wicketkeeping position and at least one batting place look to still be up for grabs after two rounds of the JLT Sheffield Shield, the pace bowlers aren't likely to cause the selectors too many headaches.

Mitchell Starc took a second hat-trick in as many days, finishing with 7-97 for the game, though most of his victims were lower-order players.

He's done it again! Starc takes second hat-trick

Starc's pace partner Josh Hazlewood took 3-24 and 3-49 in his first Shield game of the season. He dismissed Shaun and Mitchell Marsh in both innings and also removed another Test aspirant in Hilton Cartwright, who finished the game in Sydney with a pair.

Pat Cummins also provided solid support with match figures of 4-83, claiming a couple of scalps in each innings, but Smith was particularly happy with Hazlewood.

"I thought he bowled like an absolute genius, he's a superstar,' Smith said.

"Then Starcy I think he's probably taken a little bit more time to get going and get some rhythm.

Hazlewood bags both Marsh brothers and Cartwright

"But at the back end of today showed why he's world class.

"Patty Cummins has had a couple of good games as well so they're up and going and bowling really well so that is positive signs for us."

Smith had no qualms about Cummins and Starc being rested from the Blues' Shield game against Queensland in Brisbane next week.

"They'll probably have little bowls in the nets and work on their batting up in Brisbane, but I think they're firing and fresh and ready to go,' Smith said.

Smith was also pleased with his own form and is now looking ahead to what he hopes will be another bountiful summer of runs.


Smith didn't start the season well, scoring just three and nine and facing a total of only 30 balls against South Australia, but it was a different story in the Blues' second game.

"I needed some time in the middle, so it was nice to get a few in the first innings when it was a little bit tougher,' Smith said.

"When the wicket flattened out a bit, it was nice to spend some time in the middle.

Smith hits pre-Ashes form with Shield century

"Face some reverse swing bowling, some short stuff and faced pretty much a bit of everything, which is a really good lead-up into what's coming up in the summer.

"I felt really good, felt like I knew where I was hitting the ball again which was a big plus, and hopefully it's a big summer."