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Aussie batsmen back to the nets


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Young allrounder Mitchell Marsh says Australia’s batsmen have taken their coach Darren Lehmann’s advice to heart and have been working on hitting the straight ones in the nets ahead of Thursday’s second Test.

Lehmann said after last week’s 221-run loss to Pakistan in the first Test in Dubai that some of his batsmen were playing for spin that wasn’t there.

The pitch for the second Test in Abu Dhabi looks dry and lacking any enjoyment for the quicks. But the wicket also may not offer significant turn, leaving the bowlers to toil away on a low, slow deck.

Captain Michael Clarke’s Australia side were given Monday off following Sunday’s first-Test defeat and had an optional session on Tuesday at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

“Some guys have done very little training,” Marsh said on Tuesday.

“Some guys have done a bit more, probably a few of the batters have hit a few more balls.

“We know what we’re going to get in this game. We’ve all been practising that (straight one),” Marsh added.

The 23-year-old Marsh, who made 30 runs and was wicket-less on debut, says the mood in the camp is pretty good.

“It wasn’t great to lose that first Test match but we’ve certainly moved on from that,” he said.

“All our preparation is going into winning this Test and drawing the series.”

Marsh said his first look at the pitch on Tuesday didn’t cause any surprises.

“It’s going to be flat,” he said.

“It’s going to be tough work. We’re certainly up for that challenge.”

Marsh emphasised the need for Australia’s top six to turn 20s and 30s into big scores.

“A lot of our batters got in and got starts,” he said.

“We know that on these sorts of wickets if you bat for long enough you need to cash in and we didn’t do that.

“When we get in, we need to make a big score and then put scoreboard pressure on the Pakistani team.”

Pace bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle rested from Tuesday’s session.

Australia may consider recalling spin-bowling allrounder Glenn Maxwell to their attack, although an unchanged lineup is a strong possibility with Steve O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon to lead the slow-bowling attack and Marsh as the back-up seamer and No.6 batsman.

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