At a time in the sport when there is very little to separate the top international teams, gaining every inch matters. Australia are already one of the best fielding outfits in world cricket but it seems they are looking to take it to an even higher level. The Australian Test team was seen going through a peculiar fielding drill with bed sheets that had Twitter marvelling at their genius. Australia are in Benoni preparing for their three-day match against South Africa A starting on Thursday.
"Basically what it was, we wanted the guys just to react to the ball. We didn't want them to get any cues and that from the thrower so we needed to put a bed sheet there so the boys just reacted to what they did. Late in the day, where sometimes you can be a bit sleepy and you have just got to react to what comes or a slip fielder to a spinner where you lose sight of it," said Brad Haddin, Australia's fielding coach.
That is such a freaking great idea. Even in the batting they can do this. Great job coach Aussie team!— S.A.H (@SAHTPW1) February 18, 2018
Always innovative Australians— Vansh Chawla (@Vanshchawla101) February 18, 2018
Brilliant idea! Although some of our lads can't catch when they have a clear view— Dom Rhodes (@dom_rhodes91) February 18, 2018
Like it!— Brett Davies (@iambrettdavies) February 18, 2018
Australia have never lost a Test series in South Africa and looked fired up to defend that record. A mouth-watering battle awaits between arguably the two most potent pace attacks in the world.
In the recent 2-1 Test series win over India, South African pacers Kagiso Rabada, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel accounted for 43 wickets and add to that the emergence of 21-year-old Lungi Ngidi.
Meanwhile, the Aussies themselves boast of a fiery pace trio in Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. The three Australian pacers were instrumental in the thumping 4-0 win over England in the Ashes, where they took 66 wickets between them.
Australia, ranked 3 in the world, face No.2-ranked South Africa in a four Test series, starting in Durban on March 1.