As the Champions Trophy rapidly approaches, Australia’s 15-player squad will soon come together to begin their preparations for the one-day tournament.
Just four members of the squad have been preparing on home soil, with that quartet, along with head coach Darren Lehmann and the rest of Australia’s support staff, will fly out for London tonight.
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Pace pair Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade and allrounder Marcus Stoinis, who left the IPL earlier this month after suffering a shoulder injury, have been tuning up at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.
Fast bowler Pat Cummins, opener Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell have all arrived in the United Kingdom after their respective Indian Premier League teams failed to qualify for play-offs.
Touchdown London..... Thank you to everyone in India, my @thegujaratlions team mates and all the staff for making it another very special @iplt20 experience. The results didn't go our way but we gave it a crack and had a lot of fun along the way! Thank you India 🙏
They’ll soon be joined by David Warner and Moises Henriques, after Sunrisers Hyderabad were knocked out of the IPL in their elimination final against Kolkata Knight Riders – who boast Chris Lynn among their ranks - on Wednesday night.
Kolkata’s victory saw them progress to Friday’s qualifying final, where they’ll play Mumbai for a spot in the final, ensuring Lynn’s stay in India will continue until at least the weekend.
Meanwhile, Australia skipper Steve Smith and leg-spinner Adam Zampa will be the last to link up with the remainder of their international teammates in London, with Rising Pune Supergiant already assured of a place in Sunday’s IPL final.
The remaining two members of the 15-player squad, quicks James Pattinson and John Hastings, are already in the UK, having recently finished up county stints with Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire respectively.
Australia play two warm-up matches – against Sri Lanka at The Oval on May 26 and against Pakistan at Edgbaston on May 29 – before their tournament opener against New Zealand in Birmingham on June 2.
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While there are a lot of moving pieces in Australia’s preparations for the two-and-a-half week tournament, Smith insisted the IPL has been a valuable launchpad.
"Playing in IPL is great ahead of the Champions Trophy. It is always good to play white-ball cricket before such a big tournament," Smith told Indian reporters.
"Though the format is different, we are playing with world-class players."
Meanwhile, Wade says both he and quicks Starc and Hazlewood have benefitted from their break, with Australia’s 10-day warm-up period before the tournament gets underway to provide ample opportunity to prepare for the tournament.
"The luxury we have is two practice games which you don’t normally get before a tournament," the gloveman told News Ltd.
"That’s enough game-wise to go up to a tournament, plus we have 10 days training, which is also rare before a tournament.
Champions Trophy 2017 Guide
Group A: Australia, New Zealand, England, Bangladesh.
Group B: India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan.
26 May – Australia v Sri Lanka, The Oval
27 May – Bangladesh v Pakistan, Edgbaston
28 May – India v New Zealand, The Oval
29 May – Australia v Pakistan, Edgbaston
30 May – New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Edgbaston
30 May – Bangladesh vs India, The Oval
1 June – England v Bangladesh, The Oval (Day)
2 June – Australia v New Zealand, Edgbaston (D)
3 June – Sri Lanka v South Africa, The Oval (D)
4 June – India v Pakistan, Edgbaston (D)
5 June – Australia v Bangladesh, The Oval (D/N)
6 June – England v New Zealand, Cardiff (D)
7 June – Pakistan v South Africa, Edgbaston (D/N)
8 June – India v Sri Lanka, The Oval (D)
9 June – New Zealand v Bangladesh, Cardiff (D)
10 June – England v Australia, Edgbaston (D)
11 June – India v South Africa, The Oval (D)
12 June – Sri Lanka v Pakistan, Cardiff (D)
14 June – First semi-final (A1 v B2), Cardiff (D)
15 June – Second semi-final (A2 v B1), Edgbaston (D)
18 June – Final, The Oval (D)
19 June – Reserve day (D)