Australian coach Justin Langer has introduced a “fight club” into the team’s quarantine hub training regime in a bid to fend off potential for players to go mentally stale in the new cricket world.
During the recent white-ball tour of England Langer, who boxes every other day in his own training, got players bashing into pads to break up the monotony of life inside the quarantine bubble.
Some players could spend up to the next six months in playing hubs through the IPL, Sheffield Shield, Test and white-ball series against India, Big Bash and even a tour to South Africa next year.
Langer has made staying on top of their mental health a huge priority and knows the value of working in things like boxing to “blow off steam” as much as stay fit with some players likely to watch more cricket than they play.
“I know from a lifetime of doing it, there‘s real advantages in staying fit and healthy and letting off some steam,” Langer said from his hotel room in Adelaide where he is quarantined with players who returned form England.
“A number of the guys got all our boxing gear over here and we’ve been doing a bit of that, as much to keep us stimulated as anything.
”I’ve said for many years that the best form of training for batting particularly is boxing because you’ve got to concentrate. Its footwork, its technique, you’ve got to face your opponent, got to have good defence and good offence.
“I know some of the players are enjoying doing some boxing training away from the normal realms of cricket training.
“We have to be really conscious that we keep things as fresh as possible because if you’re going through the same routine over and over any way we can break it up is going to be really important.”
"I can't believe the number of guys who have been in my office crying."@CricketAus head coach Justin Langer tells The Eddie Jones Coaching Podcast of the pressure of touring and his thoughts on social media 📱
Watch in full 🎥 https://t.co/QvM9YD8uYF pic.twitter.com/5Exd5T9WY0
The expectation is Langer and his fellow selectors will need to choose a plus-sized squad for the international summer with movement of players around the country likely to remain restricted.
He hasn’t settled on a number, but knows several players within the travelling party might not play much cricket, which was another issue the Australian team would have to cope with in a summer like no other.
“Whatever size our squad is going to be, they‘re going to see a lot of their mates playing Big Bash cricket or potentially playing some Shield cricket,“ Langer said.
“It’s not going to be as easy as before to come in and out.
“We are also very mindful though that we want all our cricketers playing as much cricket as possible. So, working out the exact number (for the squad) won‘t necessarily be a science. There’ll be an art to it, so that we get the balance between guys playing and guys being ready in case there’s some infections or anything like that.”
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