UAE heat should help Australia - Rixon
The UAE heat should prepare Australia well for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, Australia's acting coach Steve Rixon has said. Even though the ODIs on the trip start at 6pm local time, meaning they will finish past midnight, there were still concerns, expressed by the Australian Cricketers' Association, about the playing conditions.
"We knew what we were going to get and when someone says it's 40 degrees then you know it's going to be hot, " Rixon said upon the team's arrival in the UAE, where Australia play a total of four ODIs and three T20s. "Most of the players have been in places with access to that kind of weather and have acclimatised accordingly so now it's not as big a deal (as it might have been in the past).
"Our hydration people have been working on this for close to six months, putting checks and patterns in motion (to help the players cope). If we sit here and talk about the weather all day (then) we're not getting the job done.
"It's a bonus for us to be playing here as it's important for us to be getting miles in the legs [ahead of the World Twenty20] and this is the best place to be doing it. Whatever happens here will be a very big stepping stone to us being successful in Sri Lanka. If we get through this, Sri Lanka will seem like a holiday resort."
The ODIs are expected to go on until 1.45am, something new for the teams to adapt to. "It's one of the few times in my 30-odd years involved in international cricket where we will be looking to keep players up at night to make sure they get their [sleeping] patterns right," Rixon said.
"We won't see the sun and we're in night cricket mode, albeit it will still be warm and the idea is to get into some sort of pattern so that when the first match comes around the players have adjusted their body clocks so that it works for them. Breakfast will probably be between 11 and 1 every day."
Australia's captain Michael Clarke tweeted on arrival: "Just landed in Dubai. 5.30am and it's 37 degrees Celsius ... Think we are in for a hot couple of weeks."
Australia's tour begins with an ODI against Afghanistan on August 25. They then play Pakistan in three ODIs and three T20s.