That Michael Clarke will return against New Zealand in Auckland - belatedly, after the wash-out against Bangladesh - is not news. Clarke would have played in place of George Bailey at the Gabba. But there is at least one other selection question that Australia need to answer before Saturday's match: the extra pace of Pat Cummins or the control of Josh Hazlewood?

It is an important decision, for the dimensions of the Eden Park ground allow little margin for error from the fast bowlers, which you'd think might go in Hazlewood's favour. But then, Sydney's ANZ Stadium is a similar size, and as a member of the Sydney Thunder squad, Cummins has had more exposure there than Hazlewood.

Hazlewood played the World Cup opener against England in Melbourne and the persistent rain in Brisbane last Saturday meant that Australia did not reveal their hand regarding selection, as an XI was not named. But in Auckland on Thursday, bowling coach Craig McDermott hinted that perhaps Hazlwood would have missed out against Bangladesh.

"I think they've done a magnificent job, they've trained the house down and they've both been disappointed when they've both missed out in either game," McDermott said. "And so they should be, we're in a World Cup.

"Patty's probably a bit quicker and he's probably got a few more change ups from a variation point of view than Josh. But it's horses for courses and the selectors will sort that out over the next 48 hours who will get a guernsey or not, or maybe they both play. I'm not going to comment, I'm not a selector."

Cummins picked up five wickets in Australia's two warm-up games but was left out against England after leaking a few too many runs during the tri-series last month. However, Hazlewood struggled to find the right line in Australia's heavy win over England, where he finished with 0 for 45 from 6.5 overs, and comfortably the worst economy rate of the five seamers.

"He probably didn't start the best he probably could have started," McDermott said of Hazlewood. "Certainly that day he warmed up beautifully but he probably just fell off the ball and pushed the ball into middle and leg, which is not his go. He knows that and we've been working on that and he's going really well."

Both Australia and New Zealand will enter this game with strong pace attacks, with Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson headlining the Australian group and New Zealand's frontline attack made up of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Adam Milne. Milne can breach 150kph, while Boult and Southee were this week rated by Richard Hadlee as the country's best-ever new-ball pair.

Southee is coming off a remarkable 7 for 33 in Wellington, where he destroyed England's batting line-up and set up a huge win for New Zealand, who are undefeated so far in the tournament. However, McDermott said that while Southee had been impressive, he was helped by the mistakes made by England's batsmen.

"Yeah, I think he bowled really well," McDermott said. "The Poms didn't move their feet very well but that's another story.

"Facing our blokes at practice is difficult enough so I think our blokes are going to be pretty well prepared. We've got Mitchell and Josh who have been swinging the ball consistently and they're 10kph faster. So our blokes are well prepared for that sort of stuff, and our blokes move their feet pretty well."

McDermott also could not resist a sly dig at New Zealand when asked how his fast bowling unit would handle the challenge of containing the in-form Brendon McCullum on the small Eden Park.

"I can think of four players that play for us who are equally as good," McDermott said, "so maybe they've got four times the headaches."