Cricket Australia

http://www.cricket.com.au/Global Items/news/2013/5/13/aussies-face-england-bowlers-in-brisbane

Aussies face 'England bowlers' in Brisbane

UPDATED 13 May, 2013 4:03PM AEST | by Omnisport

Test vice-captain Brad Haddin says gathering at the Centre of Excellence (COE) in Brisbane gives the Australian squad a chance to build team spirit as well as work on technical aspects of their game ahead of the Ashes.

Players who will be touring England with the Test, Champions Trophy and Australia A sides are able to use the facilities at Allan Border Field to aid in preparation for the northern hemisphere summer of cricket ahead of them.

Though Queensland conditions may not match those in the UK, the fact that the Australian squad can get together and develop rapport is key leading up to the Ashes, according to Haddin.

"We've had the opportunity over the last couple of weeks to come up together as a group, and it's basically get out of it what you need," Haddin said.

"Some guys have been in the gym today, some guys on ProBatter and the other guys are using these fantastic facilities here, with the weather and being able to get a centre wicket, so it's just a good opportunity to get together.

"It's pretty simple, we're up here enjoying the time we have together, preparing as best we possibly can and getting a few of those little things we need to get out of our game before we hit the ground in the UK."

The players at the COE have been working with Duke balls, the kind they will be using in England, while batsmen can attempt to gain an insight into the English bowlers they will be facing thanks to the ProBatter virtual reality system.

The ProBatter consists of a bowling machine connected to a life-sized display screen where video of real-life bowlers is used to simulate facing specific opponents.

Haddin said the technology at the COE was available to use depending on players' specific needs.

"I've had a pretty good hit on (ProBatter) in the last couple of weeks, it took a bit to get used to," he said.

"It's not as realistic as facing somebody, but it's something a bit different and if it helps you a little bit, well it's all worthwhile.

"It's all about trying different things and challenging yourself to be a better cricketer, and if that works for some guys, well that's great, if they want to spend more time in the nets to hone their skills, that's well and good too.

"It's just about having all these things available to challenge yourself to be better."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 13 May, 2013 3:55PM AEST

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