The Ashes: Cricket Australia prepare for Brisbane warm-up washout
The weather forecast has some serious bad news for Australia as they bid to prepare for the Ashes.
The Ashes series gets underway in Brisbane on 8 December and preparations for both teams have suffered at the hands of the Queensland weather.
England’s warm-up match against the Lions, whose parallel tour will allow them to act as cover, was washed out and now it seems Australia’s prep will suffer the same fate.
The Australia and Australia A squads had been due to face off in a three-day practice match from Wednesday but such is the outlook that alternative sessions are being arranged.
Australia’s T20 World Cup winners in the Ashes squad have played no red-ball cricket this term due to their involvement in the ICC showpiece.
That means Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and new captain Pat Cummins will go into the first Ashes Test with no significant red-ball game time.
Australia bowling coach Andrew McDonald said on Sunday that there would be “no excuses” for a slow start to the Ashes in his opinion.
“We’ve had fantastic facilities up here,” he said from Australia’s Gold Coast hub.
“The weather’s been challenging at times, but we’ve still been able to get out into the centre.
“Also, these guys have got a lot of Test experience to draw upon. So changing formats is something that they’ve been able to deal with across their careers.
“I think we’ll be really, really, really well-prepared.”
England squad:Joe Root (Captain), Ben Stokes, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Australia Squad: Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
Additional Australia A players: Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, Matt Renshaw, Mark Steketee, Bryce Street.
Ashes 2021/22 Schedule: Full list of fixtures
December 8-12, First Test – Gabba, Brisbane, 10am local/12am GMT
December 16-20, Second Test (Day/Night) – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 2.30pm local/4am GMT
December 26-30, Third Test – MCG, Melbourne, 10.30am local/11.30pm GMT
January 5-9, Fourth Test – SCG, Sydney, 10.30am local/11.30pm GMT
January 14-18, Fifth Test – Optus Stadium, Perth, 10.30am local/2.30am GMT
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