John Inverarity, Australia’s national selector, has admitted the Champions League T20 is hindering preparations for the first Test against South Africa next month.
A large group of key players – Shane Watson, David Warner, Mike Hussey, Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Brad Haddin – are taking part in the CLT20 and it means those players will only have one Sheffield Shield match before the first Test.
“It is anything but an ideal preparation,” Inverarity said.
“You just have to do your best but having the Champions League where it is now is not in the best interests of good preparation for the first Test.”
West Indies have faced similar problems with the Indian Premier League affecting their selectors’ ability to pick batsman Marlon Samuels and emerging spin talent Sunil Narine against Australia during their home Test series earlier in the year.
Although Australia’s top six is fairly stable after the tour of West Indies, and is unlikely to change for the start of the South Africa series, the selectors are still trying to decide their best combination of fast bowlers. This is where the Champions League is adding to their problems by restricting the amount of red-ball cricket for Starc, Hilfenhaus and Cummins.
Cummins is unlikely to feature before the third Test, at Perth, due to his lack of first-class cricket over the last year and worries about him breaking down.
“For some time you will not see him play three Tests in a row,” Inverarity added. (Cricinfo)