As head coach Andrew McDonald creates his new team, former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has been named as an assistant coach with Andre Borovec.
Borovec, who has worked with the team over the last year, will also coach the Australia team for the Test series against Sri Lanka, which begins at the end of June. Part of the journey.
Vettori, who worked with Australia during the limited-overs leg of the Pakistan tour earlier this year, will continue as coach of Birmingham Phoenix in the Hundred this season after leading them to the final last year in an interim capacity while McDonald was away with Australia duties.
“I was really impressed with what I saw of the group in Pakistan in the way they approached preparation, planning and playing,” he said. “It’s a very strong and unified group which has the potential to have a very rewarding and hopefully successful period ahead.”
McDonald and Vettori have a longstanding relationship having played together and coached together at Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL where McDonald worked as an assistant under Vettori. The pair were set to swap roles in the Hundred last year before Vettori stepped in when McDonald was unavailable.
Vettori formerly worked for Bangladesh as a spin bowling specialist. He has also coached the Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League, Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash, Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, and Middlesex in the Vitality Blast.
He’ll have a similar role to McDonald’s in monitoring Australia’s bowlers, including their preparation, plans, and workloads as individuals and as a group, as well as working with the Test and white-ball teams’ overall strategy. It also entails constantly contacting with Australia’s domestic bowling coaches about the individual bowlers whenever they return to or leave their state teams.
There are no concerns within Australia’s hierarchy regarding Vettori’s credentials working with the pace bowlers as well as spinners given his experience as a head coach and as an international captain working with his fast bowlers in New Zealand.
The Hundred does not start until August 4 and finishes on September 3 which could overlap with a proposed white-ball series against Zimbabwe to be held in Australia’s northern states, but Vettori will be available for the team’s T20 World Cup build-up which is set to include a 10-day three-match T20I series in India just prior to the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Borovec, who has no professional playing background, is another with close links to McDonald having worked alongside him in a batting and strategy role while McDonald was head coach of Victoria and Melbourne Renegades. He will be joined by Australian women’s team assistant coach Ben Sawyer and Sunny Kaliyar for the A tour which includes two one-day matches and two four-day games.
“When Andre was involved as a highly talented and experienced high-performance coach, he was excellent for the group. He is culturally a good fit and has the skills to complement our high-performing specialists “McDonald explained.
“I’ve previously worked with Daniel and cannot speak highly enough of his attitude, work ethic, and rapport. His background and balanced approach have been well documented. He’ll be a terrific addition to the team and will bring a wealth of experience.”
Michael Di Venuto remains the full-time hitting coach and is expected to fill in for McDonald for some lower-level white-ball series. As happened under Langer, other consultants could be called in for short-term tasks.
The T20 and ODI squads in Sri Lanka will be coached by McDonald, Di Venuto, spin coach Sri Sriram, and former Australia fast Clint McKay.
There is set to be an increase in Australia A tours in the coming years with CA’s high-performance investment shifting permanently away from funding a national academy to providing playing opportunities for top-end talent at Australia A level. Development of young prospects will be left to the state programs, with the exception of the Under-19s programs.
A tours will provide further coaching development opportunities for those within Australia’s senior men’s and women’s coaching panel as well as giving international exposure to some of the top-performing domestic coaches when the schedule allows it
CA has also brought in long-serving Western Australia and Perth Scorchers physio Nick Jones to replace David Beakley, whose contract was controversially terminated prior to the Pakistan trip.
Following the departure of long-time manager Gavin Dovey, they are also looking to hire a full-time team manager. Simon Allport, who previously served as the men’s team operations and logistics officer under Dovey, will take over the post for the Sri Lanka tour.