Stringent training camp for Aussie batsmen ahead of India Test
Australia will hold a training camp for their struggling batsmen before naming the side for the opening Test against India on December 26, team performance manager Pat Howard said on Wednesday.
Australia's Test team, particularly the batting line-up, has been the subject of much scrutiny ahead of the four-Test India series after they crashed to their first Test defeat to New Zealand on home soil in 26 years on Monday.
Rattled in South Africa last month, when they were skittled for 47 in the first Test, the Australians were bowled out for 136 last weekend in their first innings in Hobart and collapsed from 159-2 to 233 all out to lose the match against New Zealand.
With the revamped domestic Twenty20 competition taking centre stage over the next couple of weeks, the batsmen had no opportunity to prove their form in Sheffield Shield first class cricket before the Test.
Image: Pat Howard
Clarke, Ponting to take part in the session
Captain Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Brad Haddin, uncapped all rounder Dan Christian and, if fit, Shaun Marsh will all take part in the session in Melbourne from December 20-22.
Cricket Australia also said that embattled opener Phil Hughes has elected not to take part in the Twenty20 competition to focus on the longer form of the game.
Hughes and fellow top order batsmen Usman Khawaja and David Warner, who all played in both Tests against New Zealand, will face the Indians in their second tour match next week.
"The camp is designed to complement rather than duplicate the preparation of those batsmen playing in the Chairman's XI in Canberra," Howard said.India, who have never won a Test series in Australia, begin their first tour match in Canberra on Thursday.
Image: Michael Clarke