You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Australia find Test form, eye NZ

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 28/11/2016 Rob Forsaith

<span style="font-size:13px;">Australia's new-look Test side will have to wait a fortnight before assembling in Brisbane, with focus instead shifting to a trans-Tasman ODI series.</span> © Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Australia's new-look Test side will have to wait a fortnight before assembling in Brisbane, with focus instead shifting to a trans-Tasman ODI series. Australia's Test side have found form, now their stars must try to hold it during a one-day series against New Zealand before donning the whites again to face Pakistan.

Cricket's bloated schedule will be a hot topic of debate over the next fortnight when Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitchell Starc Josh Hazlewood and Matthew Wade take part in the three-match Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series against New Zealand.

There is a risk the change in format could rob Australia of momentum or possibly muddle the minds of some players before the first Test against Pakistan, which starts in Brisbane on December 15.

The ODIs will also force the likes of Smith and Warner to miss a day-night Sheffield Shield round, which would have been ideal preparation for their pink-ball clash with Pakistan at the Gabba.

"It's red ball, pink ball, white ball, pink ball then red ball," coach Darren Lehmann said.

"It's just the way it is. Can't complain about it, just get on with it.

"Can't do anything about it."

In this instance, Cricket Australia (CA) could have done something about it.

CA boss James Sutherland has declared this summer he wants the national side to be playing less cricket.

But Sutherland last year signed off on an agreement with New Zealand Cricket, which coincided with the deal for the inaugural day-night Test, to reinstate a regular Chappell-Hadlee series.

There is obvious commercial upside to the trans-Tasman tussles but also an inherent cost.

Usman Khawaja, who will return to captain Queensland after being overlooked in the 14-man ODI squad, aired players' concerns about the calender last month.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon