Australia has always been known for their strong domestic cricket. But this year, the players couldn’t get much help from domestic cricket to prep for International cricket because of the fact that they had played with different balls in domestic level than they did in International level.
When the Sheffield Shield matches were played with a pink ball, the Aussie Test team was playing Tests with red balls with South Africa. And when the red ball matches of Sheffield Shield took place, the Australian team was playing ODIs with white balls.
Then, in the gap between Tests, a player cn play a red-ball Sheffield Shield match just before the pink-ball test in Adelaide. This means that the players don’t get to practise playing with the pink-ball either!
This should be followed up with another pink-ball shield match. But in reality, Australia will then play three white-ball ODIs against New Zealand.
Afterwards, Australia will play three Tests against Pakistan which means another round of ball change in this order: pink-ball, red-ball and red-ball.
January doesn’t have this kind of problem for Australia. Either you’ll play white-ball ODIs for Australia against Pakistan or white-ball T20 cricket in the Big Bash or a bit of both.
Then, things get tricky. First, there are these white-ball one-day matches in New Zealand, then three white-ball T20 matches here against Sri Lanka. In the small gap, if you need to play a bit of domestic cricket, there’s a round of red-ball shield matches but no white ball matches!
Against Sri Lanka, the main Australian team won’t play. The main team will be in India to get ready for a red-ball test series.
And what will the officials do during that time? They’ll be in Dublin for an ICC meeting to sort out the fixtures for the next 10 years.