Australia A Tour of England - Men's
Paine expecting intense Ashes preview
Australia A preparing themselves for a highly-competitive clash with England Lions from Saturday
Sam Ferris in Brighton
11 July 2019, 12:32 PM AEST
Tim Paine will be looking to land a pre-emptive Ashes blow when his Australia A side face an England Lions XI in Canterbury full of Test aspirants.
Having wrapped up a comprehensive 10-wicket win over Sussex at Arundel in his squad's first four-day match on tour, Paine's team head to the south-east of Britain to face the Lions, England's equivalent of Australia A.
And like Australia A, the Lions XI features players in-form and with Test experience pushing their claims for the Ashes, which begins in Birmingham on August 1.
While the Ashes is still three weeks away, the Canterbury clash represents the first time teams from England and Australia will square off in red-ball cricket this northern summer, and Paine wants his side to disrupt his rivals' plans at the very first chance.
"We want to come on this tour and win every game of cricket we're playing in," Paine told cricket.com.au in Arundel on Wednesday.
"Potentially, there's going to be guys in that team that play in the first Test so any opportunity we get to put some doubts in their mind we've got to take."
Australia A won't have it all their own way against a strong English representative side.
The Lions XI, who will be mentored by former Ashes-winning coach Andy Flower, boast three of the top four run-scorers in Division One of the County Championship in Dom Sibley and Sam Northeast, who have each scored three centuries this northern summer, and Kent opener Zak Crawley.
In addition to selecting in-form batsmen, the Lions have rewarded right-arm seamer Lewis Gregory, the third-highest wicket-taker in Division One with 44 wickets at just 12.93 runs apiece in seven matches for Somerset, while nobody has taken more wickets than Ollie Robinson's 40 in Division Two for Sussex.
Throw in gloveman Ben Foakes, left-arm seamer Sam Curran and left-arm spinner Jack Leach with Test experience and it's a formidable XI confronting the Australians.
With Ashes spots on the line and a teaser of the storied England-Australia rivalry on show, Paine is expecting an intense match against the Lions after beating an under-strength Sussex inside what was effectively seven sessions of cricket.
"This was a nice way to start the tour," Paine said. "Come down here (to Arundel), it's a beautiful venue, have a good solid hit-out.
"Our intensity will be going up next week. It's not that we weren't at 100 per cent intensity but next week's game is against an English team and we expect to be right in the contest."
The Lions were forced to make two late changes, with Sam Hain and Curran replacing Ben Duckett (groin) and Saqib Mahmood (abdominal) due to injury.
England Lions XI to face Australia A from July 14-17: James Bracey, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Lewis Gregory, Sam Hain, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Sam Northeast, Jamie Porter, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley
Australia A tour of the UK
Get live scores and all the latest news from Australia A's tour of the UK on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app
Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Mitch Marsh (vc), D'Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Sean Abbott, Andrew Tye
Australia A four-day squad: Tim Paine (c), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head (vc), Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Chris Tremain
July 13-16: Australia A v England Lions, Canterbury
July 23-26: Australia v Australia A, Hampshire