After all the confusion and dispute over pay, Australian cricket is all set to return to action when they take on Bangladesh in a two-match Test series later this month. Coach Darren Lehmann, while taking to cricket.com.au, suggested that the players have been training and working hard on their game despite being away from it for a while.
“We’re squeezing enough in this next week, and guys have been doing stuff with their states. Even through the MOU (negotiations) they were training and preparing as though they were playing. So in terms of fitness, they are probably ahead of the game, they’re really strong and fit which is really pleasing. Now it’s just getting their skills up to the required level before we leave,” he said.
Talking about the break that the players got, the left-hander insisted that his troops got sometime to refresh themselves.
“The break’s been good for some of them, they’ve been at the back of a long summer with a lot of travel in the schedule so sometimes a refreshed mindset is really important,” Lehmann said.
Mentioning about his team’s preparations, the coach said Northern Territory Cricket Association (NTCA) have provided them with wickets similar to that in Bangladesh.
“They’ve all come in really excited to get going again. The NTCA have been fantastic, they’ve made wickets very similar to what we’ll get in Bangladesh – they’re low and they’re slow, and they will spin,” he said.
“There’s three wicket blocks that are more like Dhaka (which hosts the first Test from August 27-31), three wickets that are a bit like Chittagong (the second from September 4-8), and centre wicket facilities so we can play a match and work on our fielding. “So in terms of conditions and the heat and humidity that we’ll face when we get there, it’s great preparation especially for those who have come out of winter in the southern states (of Australia),” he told.
Moreover, the former international cricketer suggested that his team has enough time to get into the groove.
“We’ve got enough sessions in place, and then we’ve got enough time when we get there (to Bangladesh) weather permitting,” Lehmann said.
“I think we’ll be fine, we’ve got a two-day game which is a mixture of players, the wicket will be very similar to what we encounter for the first Test then we’ve got training sessions before that Test starts as well. “We’re squashing a lot into the eight or nine days before we go to Dhaka, then we just have to see what the weather and the facilities are like when we get there,” he added.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade