Lehmann: Aussies are rusty but ready

Australia

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has take the pressure off his players heading into the tri-series against South Africa and hosts Zimbabwe, conceding that they will be a bit 'rusty' after not playing for five months.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has take the pressure off his players heading into the tri-series against South Africa and hosts Zimbabwe, conceding that they will be a bit 'rusty' after not playing for five months.

The Aussies go to Zimbabwe to start their World Cup preparations, having not played an international since the World Twenty20 in April, and Lehmann felt it was a good break after a long year of two Ashes, a tour to South Africa and other series.

Lehmann said: "Professionally, everyone was tired – coaches were tired, players were very tired, and they did an amazing amount of work in 12 months. So to get a break before we go on the road for two years was pretty important.

"Now the [challenge] is getting us back up to the skill level that we need to compete at international cricket. We've got Zimbabwe and South Africa and then we've obviously got a big test in the UAE. I think everyone is jumping out, they just want to play.

"We're going to be a bit rusty with the skills, but that's okay. We're gonna make mistakes, but that's okay. What we need to do is build and build and build to become a better Test side, a better one-day side, a better Twenty20 side."

He was then asked about batsman Phil Hughes' chances of playing in Zimbabwe, and Lehmann said that he hoped everyone would get a go, but that they would start out at full strength and go from there.

He added of Hughes: "He's in the squad and if he gets a chance I'm sure he'll take it. We have to find the right balance, whoever that is, whether that's Phillip in or not in for the first game, we have to sum up the conditions.

"We have to make sure we get away to a good start, so we'll be at full-strength early and then see what happens with the tournament from there, how the wickets play and whether it spins or doesn't."

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