AUS vs AFG: Test against Afghanistan will set us up for Ashes, says Tim Paine: Australia Test skipper Tim Paine has said that the long-format match against Afghanistan later this year will set his team up nicely for the much-awaited Ashes against England.
In addition to the Ashes series, the Australian men’s team will host Afghanistan for a Test for the first time ever before finishing with nine ODI and T20 matches against New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Australia and Afghanistan will lock horns in the one-off Test match at Hobart, beginning November 27.
“We haven’t got any red-ball cricket in the lead-up to the Ashes except that Test match. So from a preparation point of view it’s going to be a really important Test match to set us up for the Ashes and Afghanistan have got some highly talented spinners in particular, which will create a real challenge. Any Test match we play, we want a full-strength side, and it’s not always possible these days, but fingers crossed we can make it happen,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Paine as saying.
“Last summer wasn’t our best in key moments, but I think over the last couple of years we’ve played some pretty consistent cricket. We’re now talking about going from being a good team to a great team, and that Afghanistan Test and the Ashes this year is a really important part of that,” he added.
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The conclusion of the men’s Test program will usher in the arrival of the New Zealand and Sri Lankan white-ball squads, who will play a combined three ODIs and six T20Is against Australia as teams finalise their preparation for the coveted ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, scheduled to begin in October, 2022.
The Black Caps will take on Australia in three ODIs at Perth Stadium (January 30), Blundstone Arena and the SCG (February 2 and 5) for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy followed by one T20I at Manuka Oval (February 8) in the latest instalment of the trans-Tasman rivalry.