Sydney, (ANI): Australia has signed England’s batting coach Dene Hills ahead of the Ashes series, which is being considered as a major coup.
The Sunday Age understands Hills has been signed by Cricket Australia as the team’s analyst, replacing Michael Marshall who has vacated the position due to family commitments.
The new Australian batting coach has had great success mentoring England’s newcomers at its National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough University, but it is his intimate knowledge of the habits of England’s established top-order batsmen that will be invaluable as Australia looks to wrest back the urn.
He will have information on how English batsmen plan to adjust to Australian conditions, how they will attack certain bowlers, and how they respond to different pressures. He can provide feedback on their temperaments, and the best fields to set.
England is known to be furious with Hills’ defection but is unable to stop him because he has a get-out clause in his contract.
Hills, the former Tasmanian opener who has a long association with Test skipper Ricky Ponting, will be able to divulge the batting weaknesses of England’s top order. He will not be able to join the set-up until the Ashes are under way because England has forced him to serve his full three months’ notice, denying Australian the chance to use him during its preparations.
Hills is expected to arrive days before the third Test in Perth, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.