Australia head coach Darren Lehmann has said Steven Smith and Mathew Wade will be able to train in Dubai prior to the four-match Test series in India.
The duo suffered injuries which forced them to miss the Chappell-Hadlee series in New Zealand. Australia skipper suffered an injury in his left ankle when he landed awkwardly while fielding during Australia last ODI match against Pakistan on January 26 and missed the plane to New Zealand.
On the other hand, Wade had travelled with the team and was appointed the skipper in absence of Smith. However, he had to return to Australia midway through the series without playing a single game after suffering a back injury during training. The injuries had raised their doubts over their participation in the practice camp at Dubai but Lehmann has now confirmed that the duo is all set to catch the plane to Dubai for the camp.
“They’re all good,” coach Darren Lehmann said of the injured duo. “So that’s a bonus, everyone fit to pick from and fit to prepare.”
Smith was very much expected to get fit in time for the series but there were dark clouds over Wade’s participation. However, Lehmann is confident that his first-choice wicketkeeper will regain full fitness sooner than later.
“He’ll be fine. He’s got on the plane,” Lehmann said of Wade who will continue his rehab in Dubai. “If there was any doubt, he wasn’t going to get on the plane. “So that’s a good thing.”
Lehmann further said there were no plans to take a second keeper to the training camp in Dubai. Peter Handscomb, who has been included in the squad, can keep the wickets and Lehmann is keen to back him up.
“Unless something flares up during the Dubai leg or tour ga me (in Mumbai), we’ll stay status quo,” he said.
“The bonus with the squad is you’ve got someone who can keep pretty well. That’s handy, having that just in case something happens,” he added.
Australia start their series in Pune on February 23 before heading to Bengaluru, Dharamsala and Ranchi for the remaining Tests.