A pre-tournament camp and two practice matches will have Australia’s one-day international squad ready to hit the ground running in next month’s Champions Trophy, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade believes.
The cut-throat nature of the 18-day ODI tournament – which will see Australia take on New Zealand, England and Bangladesh in group matches with the top two teams to qualify for semi-finals – leaves little room for error.
But Wade believes the luxury of 10 days of training, alongside warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, will have Australia primed.
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Wade, alongside quicks Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood and allrounder Marcus Stoinis, will depart Australia for the United Kingdom tonight.
"The luxury we have is two practice games which you don’t normally get before a tournament," Wade 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.
"You’ve got to hit the ground running in tournaments like this and be performing at your best from the start to win it."
Wade said he was feeling mentally and physically fresh, having enjoyed a break from cricket after Australia’s Test tour of India before he linked up with quicks Starc and Hazlewood at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.
The trio, plus Stoinis – who has been passed fit to travel to the UK after injuring his shoulder in the Indian Premier League – will join up with the remainder of the 15-player Australian squad in London, with other squad members coming from IPL or county cricket duties.
"The bowlers here and myself feel like the time off is going to pay dividends. Sometimes you need a mental freshen-up as well as physical.
"Some guys need to keep playing all year.
"Those guys (players who have been involved in IPL and county cricket) won’t have to ramp up training as much in the UK."
Stoinis, who was forced to leave his stint with Kings XI Punjab early due to the shoulder injury, bowled on Wednesday at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane and was passed fit by team support staff.
The allrounder injured the shoulder diving for a ball while warming-up for Punjab's match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 5 and, after undergoing scans in India, headed to the NCC for rehab in a bid to prove his fitness for the upcoming ODI tournament.
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It was confirmed on Wednesday that the 27-year-old had done exactly that, with a Cricket Australia spokesperson saying "he bowled today and medical staff were happy with his progress".
Australia's first warm-up game for the Champions Trophy is in London on May 26 against Sri Lanka, before a second fixture against Pakistan on May 29 in Birmingham.
Their first match in the tournament proper is against the Black Caps on June 3, also in Birmingham.
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)