Pat Cummins believes he has had close to the ideal preparation for the Test series against India despite the opening match in Adelaide ending an almost year-long gap between first-class matches.
The last long-form game Cummins played was the final Test against New Zealand in January but he is confident he is peaking at the right time ahead of the day-night Test having been rested from the last ODI and all the T20I series against India.
Australia were due to have a centre-wicket session in Adelaide on Friday with Cummins planning to simulate match scenarios as he builds up the intensity ahead of the Test next week. Only once before in his career, before his debut in Johannesburg, has he not had a first-class match in close proximity to a Test match.
"I hadn't played a red-ball game for about seven or eight months," he said. "I think the good thing this time around is we have an eight- or nine-day lead-in. Today we have a centre-wicket so I'll probably go out there and bowl eight overs or so simulating a Sheffield Shield match.
"I don't see too much of a problem. I've been playing and bowling quite a bit, high-intensity, played 20 games or so in the last couple of months and it's just that slight tweak as we move into longer-form cricket.
"I feel fresh, that week or so I had a home was great preparation. A good balance between downtime and doing little things I haven't been able to do over last few months but of course still training, build some strength up, preparing for this pretty long stint. If I could pick out the perfect preparation think that was pretty close to it given all the circumstances."
Looking ahead to the series itself, Cummins hoped that conditions would provide encouragement for the bowlers beyond the pink-ball opener in Adelaide.
"First of all, a fair balance between bat and ball," he said. "I don't think a Test match where a team can get 600 is good viewing for anyone, so hopefully a really fair contest. Obviously here in Australia we want the kind of conditions that reflect Australia, think the best Test matches are when there is pace and bounce in the wickets. Adelaide Oval has been a really good wicket each time I've played. So, a bit of pace and bounce and hopefully a bit of spin for Lyno [Nathan Lyon] too.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo