Dubai: Acting Australian coach Steve Rixon hopes one-day internationals against Afghanistan and Pakistan in the demanding heat of the United Arab Emirates will prepare his players for next month's Twenty20 World Cup in the tropics of Sri Lanka.
Australia play Afghanistan in a one-off ODI at Sharjah on Saturday ahead of three more ODIs against Pakistan on Aug. 28, 31 and Sept. 3. With temperatures expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 F), organizers have decided to effectively hold the matches over two days, starting at 6 p.m. local time and finishing around 2 a.m.
None of that is troubling Rixon who spent several years as fielding coach of the IPL's Chennai Super Kings in India.
"We knew what we are going to get. When someone says it will be 40 odd degrees, you know it will be hot," Rixon said Wednesday. "It never affects me because I came out of Chennai where it's humid and hot at all times of the day. Most of the players have been in the same situation. They have been in India. They have had access to that sort of weather. They have acclimatized accordingly and it's not that big a deal."
Rixon said the players will be in better condition heading to the Twenty20 World Cup.
"Whatever happens here will be a very big stepping stone for us being successful in Sri Lanka," Rixon said. "It will be ideal for us. If we get out of this, Sri Lanka will seem like a holiday resort."
Rixon, who is temporarily taking over from head coach Mickey Arthur for the ODIs, said the team's "hydration people" have been preparing the players over the past several months. Players will also be forced to shift their sleep patterns.
"This is one of the very few times in the 30-odd years that I've been around international cricket and state cricket that you have to keep people up to make sure they are looked after best," Rixon said. "It is very important we get those patterns right ... We have to start patterns now so by the time the first game comes around we will be starting to build a body clock that works for us."