Australia v South Africa Tests
Aussies call on former mentor for advice
Former batting coach and Tasmanian great Michael Di Venuto was a special guest at the team's training in Hobart this week
11 November 2016, 11:16 PM AEST
Australia are hoping the sound advice and familiar throwdowns of former batting coach Michael Di Venuto will help settle their misfiring middle order.
Di Venuto, who was highly regarded by skipper Steve Smith and many of his teammates, left his post with the Australia team earlier this year and took up a role as head coach of south London-based county side Surrey.
Smith heaped praise on the Tasmanian, who scored more than 25,000 first-class runs, after capping a meteoric rise with an Allan Border medal in 2015.
Di Venuto was invited back into the Australian camp after making a timely return home, with the hosts reeling from a first-innings collapse of 10-86 in the first Test against South Africa at the WACA.
"He's a magnificent batting coach," Smith said.
"It's nice to have had him around and have a little bit of a chat face to face about batting and what's going on with all that.
"A few of the boys have had some throws from him, which has been great.
"It's great to have had him around to work with this week and be able to talk some good stuff about batting."
The man they call Diva was keen to make it clear he was returning to The Oval for a second season with Surrey.
Smith's side could do with all the help they can, having suffered a series of game-changing collapses over the past two years.
Meanwhile, the skipper revealed there could be a change in the batting order.
Smith has so far resisted calls for Peter Nevill to be promoted to No.6 in the order, a spot occupied by out-of-form allrounder Mitch Marsh.
"It's possible (that will happen). It just depends on which XI we end up with for where guys will bat. We'll wait and see," he said.
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