Being agile and adapting quickly is taking on a whole new meaning for Australian quick Kane Richardson in the UAE’s furnace heat ahead of the T20 World Cup.
The Australian paceman has come straight from Adelaide’s mild spring and green pitches to dusty conditions and temperatures in the high 30s.
At the team’s first full training session on Friday, Richardson lasted ten deliveries in his bowling spell before he needed a drink as the temperature reached 36 degrees.
“I’m just trying to back in what I have in my kit bag and execute as best I can,” he said.
“That was tough yesterday with our first hit-out – it was 2 pm, so it was at its peak.
“I definitely felt it more than the guys who’ve been playing in the IPL.
“Some of the IPL boys were saying it’s one of the cooler days they’ve experienced … (they) said they had to put a jumper on.”
But if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught Richardson and his teammates anything, it’s adapting.
“We’ve learned in the last 18 months to be really agile and Matthew Wade spoke about it – if this was our preparation two years ago, we’d probably kick and scream,” he said.
“But everyone has got so used to it now, it’s not an issue.
“Our group is so experienced, everyone has played enough cricket…you don’t lose your skill through lack of game time.
“We have a week. There’s plenty of time and opportunity.”
Once Richardson acclimatises to the heat, then he must do what he can to break into the Australian line-up.
They will have warm-up games against India and New Zealand before their cup opener against South Africa on October 23 in Abu Dhabi.
Fellow paceman Josh Hazlewood’s excellent IPL form surely guarantees him a start and that will make it hard for Richardson to make the team early in the tournament.
“On the surface, I would say it (local conditions) does suit myself. But whether that’s enough to get picked … spin is going to play a huge factor,” he said.
“I’ve always said, all along, as long as I’m making the decision as hard as I can for the selectors, then if that still means I don’t get picked, then so be it.”
While Richardson is coming off several months of no international games, he doubts that will be a problem.
“The benefit of coming off not a lot of cricket is the opportunity to play or train, blokes are going to jump at (that),” he said.
“So if I don’t start in a week’s time, I will still be doing enough to be ready to play.
“I’m that keen to get outside and do stuff.”