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Early-season ODIs provide World Cup springboard for Australia

They have not played a one-dayer on home soil since November 2020

Alex Carey will be part of Australia's middle-order  •  AFP

Alex Carey will be part of Australia's middle-order  •  AFP

Australia's immediate sights may be on back-to-back ODI series against Zimbabwe and New Zealand but wicketkeeper Alex Carey says this is where their preparation begins for the 2023 World Cup.
Australia face Zimbabwe in three ODIs in Townsville from Sunday, before they meet world No.1 New Zealand for three matches in Cairns from September 6.
Sunday's match marks the first time in almost two years Australia has played a home ODI and will be Zimbabwe's first bilateral series here since the 2003-2004 summer.
Carey says with the World Cup just 12 months away and the squad at almost full strength, it's time to begin preparations.
"We see it as a great opportunity to continue to evolve our one-day cricket to get some form leading into the next 12 months. So it is a good way to start," he told reporters in Townsville. "Most players will know their roles coming into the series.
"Players have been playing the last couple of weeks as well over in the Hundred in England, so for us it's preparing the best way we can.
"One-day cricket you know how you try to set up, but we'll obviously sum up the conditions as well and play accordingly."
Zimbabwe named their 15-man squad for the tour on Tuesday after falling 3-0 to India in a series at home. With Craig Ervine still sidelined due to a hamstring injury, Regis Chakabva will captain the side again.
Their recent series against India and Bangladesh will provide important footage Carey said, with little known of some of their squad.
"In this format, I haven't played them," he said. "They've had some recent form so they'll be keen to come over here and play some good cricket. They knocked off Bangladesh recently. So we will do our research if guys haven't already started.
"We've got some vision of bowlers, batters and we are up here five days early. So, we're keen to get around, meet and greet and it get stuck into it."