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Strikers to go toe-to-toe

07 June 2018

Friendly foes? Travis Head and Jason Gillespie

Strikers coach Jason Gillespie will be plotting the downfall of many of his own when Australia’s one-day side plays a warm-up match against UK county club Sussex on Thursday.

BBL|07 Championship coach Gillespie, who is in his first season as Sussex’s new head coach, will confront the Aussies at Hove in a practice match in what will be Justin Langer’s first official outing in charge of the national side.

Several Strikers are likely to represent the tourists in the sold-out contest, including captain Travis Head, Alex Carey, Billy Stanlake and Michael Neser. Former Striker Kane Richardson is also set to line up for Australia.

Gillespie has named Chris Jordan, who played five matches under Gillespie in BBL|06, in his initial squad, although indications are the Sussex seamer may be rested.

Strikers spin sensation Rashid Khan will reunite with Gillespie at Sussex for next month’s T20 Blast tournament.

Jason Gillespie after the Strikers' BBL Final triumph

Gillespie has also worked with Aussie skipper Tim Paine, Aaron Finch, Jhye Richardson and Andrew Tye in his role as stand-in assistant T20I coach in last year’s series against Sri Lanka.

While only a warm-up match, the former Australian Test quick said he won’t be holding back despite the familiar opposition.

"We want to win this game," Gillespie told the BBC.

"We want to test ourselves against the best. We know we're going to be underdogs but we're going to fight hard and try and win.

"It's always been a bit of a frustration of mine seeing touring side comes over and the opposition picking teams that are well below full strength.

"I've got no problem resting the odd player, but this is a great opportunity for our lads to test their skills against an international side.

"(Australia have) got some new leadership and a lot of new faces. It'll be an early hit out for them on English soil so maybe we can spring a surprise there and catch them on the hop, pardon the pun."

Australia will follow Thursday’s match with another warm-up clash against Middlesex at Lord's on 9 June ahead of the series against England beginning on starting on 13 June at The Oval.