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Nielsen hopeful of smooth switch to Test mode

Ben Hilfenhaus celebrates the wicket of Chris Gayle Getty Images

Australia were set to begin their only warm-up match ahead of the Tests against Pakistan when they took the field for a two-day game against Derbyshire on Thursday. While the length of the game is not ideal, Australia's coach Tim Nielsen has said the players would have to do their best to adjust to the longer form after their recent ODI and Twenty20 series.

"It is going to have to [do]," Nielsen said. "That is the modern world we live in and we have got what we have got. We just have to make sure that we change our mindsets and adapt our game styles as quickly as we can over these two days to get ready for five-day cricket."

Two days is barely long enough to get used to the red Duke ball but Pakistan are in the same situation, with only a two-day fixture against Leicestershire to prepare for the Lord's Test. Simon Katich, Marcus North and Usman Khawaja have joined the squad ahead of the Tests, as has the swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus, who is set to make his return to Test cricket.

Hilfenhaus hasn't played a Test since the three-day win over West Indies at the Gabba in November, after which he was struck down with knee tendonitis. Hilfenhaus made a promising return for Australia A in Queensland last month and collected a five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka A in the four-day encounter.

The tour-ending knee injury to Ryan Harris has cleared Hilfenhaus' path back into the Test line-up for Tuesday's Lord's Test. Nielsen said it would be good to reintroduce him in England, after he bowled well during the Ashes last year in the swinging conditions.

"He proved he has the physical and mental strength to get through a lot of overs and cope with the pressure, that was one of the great things about the attack," Nielsen said. "They had their ups and downs but they have all become better bowlers since then.

"He has been increasing his program since February, so we feel as though this is the right time. We hope things go well and he gets a couple of Test matches under his belt before we go to India and get as much cricket out of his body as we can before the Ashes in Australia later this year."