Ashes 2019: Team that manages fatigue and schedule better will win series – Justin Langer
Australia coach Justin Langer has his hands full during the Ashes. © AFP

After a long Cricket World Cup 2019, in which Australia reached the semi-finals and England won the title for the first time, the two teams go at it in the first of five Ashes Test matches from August 1 at Edgbaston – the very same venue at which Eoin Morgan’s home team smashed Aaron Finch’s defending champions in the World Cup semi-final on July 11.

Playing back-to-back contests of the magnitude of the World Cup and the Ashes, says Australia coach Justin Langer, is the challenge for both teams. And in his view, the side that manages fatigue across five Test matches will take home the Ashes.

“There’s no doubt it’s a challenge for both teams, the fatigue,” he told reporters at Edgbaston on Tuesday. “This is unprecedented – World Cup then an Ashes. Both are really big competitions that we want to win. We’re aware of it, we’re going to have to deal with it, there’s nothing we can do about it but being aware of it is a good starting point.

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“Joe (Root) and England will be aware of it, they’ll have to deal with, manage it the best they can and so will we. I honestly think, it’s not about this Edgbaston Test match, it’s about how we endure right through a five-Test match series. It’s going to be a tough series no doubt but how we endure that will probably be the team who wins the Ashes.”

After a World Cup that spanned over six weeks, England and Australia now play each other roughly the same amount of time. Managing player fatigue, feels Langer, will be vital. The biggest gap between matches is four days, when Australia play a tour match at Worcester between the first and second Tests.

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One of Langer’s challenges is to rotate Australia’s sextet of fast bowlers for these five Ashes Tests, which the team’s fielding coach Brad Haddin said would test their adaptability.

“One of the things JL said during the World Cup is our flexibility will be our strength and that’s the same with our fast bowling group,” Haddin said on The Unplayable Podcast. “We’ve got a really good opportunity to make some smart decisions depending on what surfaces we get. They might stay the same like they did for the whole series in 2013, but we’ve got the option if we think we need to.”