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Aussies target Dubai repeat in Darwin

Australia hoping to replicate success of Dubai training camp ahead of Tests in Bangladesh

Australia are hoping an idea first borrowed from Ashes rivals England will again provide a timely boost in their push for a first series win on the subcontinent in almost six years.

Australia's 14-man squad for the Qantas Tour of Bangladesh will arrive in Darwin today for a week-long training camp before their two-Test series against the Tigers, starting later this month.

The decision to hold a similar camp in the 'neutral' surrounds of the International Cricket Council's headquarters in Dubai earlier this year ahead of their tour of India has been credited as a significant factor in their strong showing against the world's No.1 Test side on their home soil.

Feb, 2017: Dubai 'ideal preparation' for India: Maxwell

And Cricket Australia has again decided to take greater control of their pre-tour preparations by holding them at a facility over which they hold greater autonomy.

The meticulous preparation for Australia's India tour in February and March had included a closer analysis of England’s breakthrough 2-1 win there in 2012, the only time India have been beaten at home since Australia’s previous triumph in 2004.

And thus the Australians decided to replicate the pre-series training regime that Alastair Cook’s men underwent in Dubai prior to that memorable series win.

While that England side spent three days at the ICC Global Cricket Academy before heading to India, the Aussies spent more than a week in the UAE and simulated match conditions with a three-day intra-squad practice match.

Feb, 2017: Australia intra-squad match in Dubai

Which is exactly what the Australians will do in the Top End over the coming eight days, with a return to the Emirates unfavourable due to the mid-year temperatures that hover in the mid 40 degrees Celsius.

Skipper Steve Smith is in no doubt that the Dubai experience was crucial to their strong performance in India and is hoping for a similar effect this week.

"I’ve got to pay a lot of credit to what we did before in Dubai,” the skipper said in March.

"Guys developed plans and we could control conditions and get the ball spinning and have different sorts of scenarios.

"That five-day result we had the other day (in the third Test in Ranchi) where we were able to play out the draw, that (same situation) has ended pretty quickly for us on a few occasions where we’ve just rolled over."

Quick Single: Aussies risk drop down Test rankings

Australia's decision to head to Dubai was also sparked by their preparation ahead of their 0-3 thrashing in Sri Lanka 12 months ago, when they were greeted by a well-grassed pitch and a pace-heavy local bowling attack for their sole warm-up match in Colombo only to be undone by a three-pronged spin attack on dry, bare pitches in the Test series itself.

And the early intelligence from the Top End is the conditions in Darwin will be as close to Dhaka as those in Dubai were to Delhi.

On the road: The tour starts now

"Every couple of weeks we’ve sent someone up to make sure the wickets we’re getting are going to be somewhat similar to what we’re going to see in Bangladesh," Smith wrote in his column for foxsports.com.au of the facilities at the Marrara Cricket Ground, adding the Dubai camp was "as good as I’ve seen an Australian team train for a long period of time".

Quick Single: Swepson ready for Bangladesh challenge

"Sridharan Sriram, our spin bowling consultant, has gone up several times with a group of spinners and he’s been really happy with what he’s seen."

The series in Bangladesh, just Australia's second Test tour of the Asian nation and their first since 2006, is another chance for the Aussies to end a streak of four consecutive defeats on the continent since their 1-0 win in Sri Lanka in 2011.

The Darwin camp will be followed by a two-day tour match ahead of the first Test, which starts in Dhaka on August 27. That match had been scheduled for Fatullah but the venue is presently waterlogged after the monsoon season, and an alternative is yet to be confirmed.


Australia in Bangladesh 2017

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.

Bangladesh squad (preliminary): Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mahmudullah Riyad, Liton Kumar Das, Mominul Haque, Mehedi Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Subhashish Roy, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Rubel Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Sanjamul Islam, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mohammad Saifuddin, Anamul Haque, Abul Hasan Raju, Al Amin Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Muktar Ali, Tanbir Haider, Saqlain Sajib, Shafiul Islam.


11-17 August Australia pre-tour training camp, Darwin


18 August Australia arrive


22-23 August Tour match, TBC


27-31 August First Test, Dhaka


4-8 September Second Test, Chittagong


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