Only time will answer how ready our guys are going into the first Test: Darren Lehmann

Australia will be heading into the re-scheduled first Test against India at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday after an unprecedented emotional devastation following the death of young Phillip Hughes, who was widely believed to be playing against the visiting team in the series opener.

Australian coach Darren Lehmann wrote in, “To be honest, only time will provide the answer as to how ready and in what sort of frame of mind our guys will be when what will undoubtedly be an emotional lead-up to the first match culminates in the opening delivery at 10.30am on Tuesday morning. There is still a significant journey to get us to that point, but we expect every member of our squad to do what they can between now and then to ensure they are ready to play for their country. It’s what Hughesy would want. It feels like we have a fair bit of preparation to cram into the few days before the Test starts, and clearing our minds to focus exclusively on cricket won’t be easy. It’s been an emotional week for everyone, and one that will remain with all of us for a long, long time.

“Having dealt with a similar circumstance with the death of my mentor and great friend David Hookes, I know the effect that it has. It’s something you live with every single day, and it is only the passing time that can make that pain more bearable.”

Lehmann and the Australian team will be hoping that captain Michael Clarke will be fully fit by the time the Test starts. Saturday should give some indication of his chances to make the cut.

Lehmann said: “As far as his [Clarke’s] fitness goes, it’s a case of him batting here in Adelaide today [Saturday], doing some running and if he’s fine and the medical team tick him off then I can’t see why he wouldn’t be out there leading the team in the first Test. However, that will essentially come down to him as a personal call. He knows his body and we’ll be guided by that as to how he’s travelling.”