Australia Set To Field Unchanged XI At Perth' 'sauna' Like Conditions > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Australia set to field unchanged XI in Perth's 'sauna' like conditions

"I'd be a brave man to change the XI."

"I'd be a brave man to change the XI."

Australia coach Justin Langer has all but confirmed an unchanged XI for the day-night Test in Perth against New Zealand, pointing to the "definite benefit and advantage" in keeping a core group of players together.

"I'd be a brave man to change the XI," Langer said in Perth on Tuesday (December 10). "The boys are playing well. We've still got a couple of training sessions, we haven't had a look at the wicket yet but I'd say at this stage, more than likely we'll have the same XI."

Australia going into this pink-ball Test with the same set of players that took on Pakistan in Adelaide will mean no place for Michael Neser and James Pattinson. It will also be the first time since March 2018 that Australia will be playing an unchanged XI for three consecutive Tests.

"I've said for 18 months, there used to be a philosophy in Australian cricket, which worked so well for us - it's harder to get out of the Australian cricket team than it is to get in it," Langer said. "That usually happens when guys are playing well and the team is playing well.

"We've won the last couple of Test matches. There's definite benefit and advantage in keeping the core group of players together and hopefully this will be another opportunity this week to do that."

Australia will be up against a different opposition than Pakistan this time though. New Zealand come to the shores ranked No. 2 and boasting of a settled unit that knows how to quietly win Test matches. Langer acknowledged the "continuity" that New Zealand possess and looked forward to the "great contest" that this series is going to be.

"They're a very, very good cricket team," Langer said. "Talk about continuity, they've certainly got that; they've got a seasoned bowling attack, they've got the aggressor in (Neil) Wagner, (Lockie) Ferguson, they've got guys in the top 10 in Test cricket, they've got one of the great players in their captain (Kane Williamson), who not only plays with great skill but great humility.

"We have huge respect for the New Zealand cricket team and for New Zealand in general. It's going to be a great contest, we can't wait."

One of the challenges that the teams will face is the "sauna" like conditions in Perth, when the temperatures are set to be as high as in the 40s. There's no provision in ICC rules to suspend the play for heat but the umpires can call for extra drinks breaks.

"It's going to be hot and going to be hard, that's OK," Langer said. "We like the heat and we'll give it our best crack.

"It will be tough for everyone. We are talking about elite athletes so they'll be well prepared for it but there's no doubt it will have an effect," Langer said. "If you're a fast bowler or batting in a helmet, for hopefully a long period of time, being in 40 [degrees] is like being in a sauna. I imagine it will be pretty hot inside the stadium as well. It will be a battle of endurance, fitness and skill and, again, that's why we love Test cricket."

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