A one-off match against Afghanistan in November will be Australia’s first Test after losing to India in January this year; England, by contrast, have played six Tests so far this year, and will also host New Zealand and India this summer
Australia retained the Ashes in 2019 by drawing the series with England
Australia’s chief selector Trevor Hohns has admitted to being “very concerned” as Tim Paine’s men risk turning up under-prepared for the Ashes series against England later this year.
A one-off match against Afghanistan in November will be Australia’s first Test after losing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to India in January this year.
When asked about the lack of matches ahead of the series during a press conference, Hohns said: “Very concerned about that, there can be no doubt.
- Matthew Wade and Travis Head lose Cricket Australia contractsSteve Smith ‘keen’ to captain Australia again
“Hopefully there’ll be plenty of Shield cricket, and I believe there will be, programmed leading up to the to the first Test match.
“However, that’s not going to help some of our players because hopefully they’ll be fully engaged in the T20 World Cup, particularly those that play that format for us as well.”
England, by contrast, have played six Tests in Asia, two in Sri Lanka and four in India, this year, and will also host New Zealand for a two-match series in June before facing India again in August.
England head coach Chris Silverwood says this summer’s home Test series against India will prepare his side for this year’s Ashes in Australia
“England certainly are playing plenty of Test cricket and we haven’t got much in the way of anything going. So yes it is a bit of a concern,” Hohns said.
The close scheduling of matches will once again put the focus on the workload of the fast bowlers, and Hohns hinted Australia might rotate their quicks to get the best out of them.
“We can’t ask them to continually back up, day after day and Test match after Test match and bowl lots of overs. It’s only natural they are going to get tired,” he added.
“Sure, they might feel OK themselves, but we’ve really got to monitor that a bit harder.”