Smith hits the deck in fiery net session with Starc

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc has given another indication of what he has in store for England by leaving Test captain Steve Smith on his backside during a robust net session at the SCG on Friday.

Top-order stars Smith and Warner were stepping up their Ashes preparations by facing NSW and Australian trio Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins at Blues training.

Starc this week created history by claiming two hat tricks in the one match, wreaking havoc on the Western Australian tail to seal an outright victory at Hurstville Oval.

The left-armer demonstrated on Friday he is just as difficult to handle for the world's best batsmen as well.

Smith is certainly in that category but he twice lost balance getting out of the way of Starc thunderbolts, on one occasion being left on his backside.

The captain and and his deputy, Warner, were taking on the three Test quicks during a 30-minute net session, with Smith and Starc trading barbs throughout.

"That's what they're always like. They're always into each other. Patty and I just do our thing. But it's pretty easy to fire Starcy up, so I think Smithy takes it on," Hazlewood said.

"It's always good fun and they're obviously two world-class players, so it keeps you on your toes," Hazlewood said. "You want to make sure you get everything out of the session. There is no real 'go through the motions' when you're bowling at those two guys."

Hazlewood is joining Starc and Cummins in sitting out NSW's final Sheffield Shield match before the Ashes in Queensland next week, with the trio to instead train along with Jackson Bird of Tasmania at Allan Border Field in Brisbane.

Meanwhile, Cricket Australia has confirmed that Western Australian fast bowler and Ashes hopeful Nathan Coulter-Nile is out for at least a month with a flare up to his back condition.

Cricket Australia Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager Alex Kountouris said: "Nathan experienced some pain in his back following the two-day tour match against England last week.

"Subsequent scans have revealed an early stage aggravation of his old stress fracture.

"Whilst this is a setback, the good news is that it has been picked up early so we are only considering a short break from bowling while we monitor him.

"We expect he will have further scans over the next month which will determine when he can return to bowling."

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This story Smith hits the deck in fiery net session with Starc first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.