Aussies dial up preparations | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 13, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 13, 2017

Australia's Tour of Bangladesh

Aussies dial up preparations

Australia's preparation for the Qantas tour of Bangladesh is set to crank up a notch this week with the addition of some of the country's best young talent to the squad in Darwin for a highly competitive Steve Smith XI v David Warner XI three-day clash.

Among the young faces joining the 14-man touring party are Darwin products Jake Weatherald and Tom Andrews, both of whom made their first-class debuts for South Australia in the 2015-16 season.

Additionally, the three-day contest at Marrara Oval, beginning on Monday, will include Redbacks captain Travis Head, two more South Australians in Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, as well as Victoria trio Marcus Stoinis, Chris Tremain and Jon Holland.

Australia have regularly played intra-squad matches to prepare for Test series' -- they did so in Dubai in February ahead of their tour of India -- but the nature of this contest is set to more closely resemble match conditions, with players wearing whites and two full XIs taking part under the leadership of usual captain Smith and his deputy, Warner.

Darren Lehmann's squad arrived in the Northern Territory on Wednesday and have been working hard on conditioning their bodies to the heat of Bangladesh, though the humidity will be another factor to take in once they land in Dhaka next Friday as Darwin is currently in the middle of its dry season.

"We've been doing a lot of fitness and strength testing since we've been here," Queensland leg-spinner Mitch Swepson said on Saturday. "It's going to be good for the boys to acclimatise before we get to Bangladesh -- it'll be humid and hot over there. It's great that we've got a base in Australia with weather like this where we can come and acclimatise."

The South Australian contingent was scheduled to arrive in Darwin late Saturday, completing a 23-man group ahead of the intra-squad fixture. The injured Mitchell Starc, who is still recovering from a foot injury and will not tour Bangladesh, is the only player present who won't play on Monday, while part-time 'keeper Peter Handscomb looms as the likely gloveman for the Warner XI.

The arrival of left-arm orthodox spinners Andrews and Holland as well as leggie Zampa brings the number of spinners in the group to six as the Australians ready themselves for spin-friendly conditions for the Tests in Dhaka and Chittagong. 

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