Fewer games, big gains in Test hub: Abbott

Rob Forsaith
·2-min read

Sean Abbott fought back tears upon finally receiving the call he's dreamed of since day dot, now the fast bowler is determined to make the most of a rare full season with Australia's Test squad.

Abbott was widely tipped to make the cut in Australia's 17-man squad for the four-Test series against India, having thoroughly impressed selectors during the past year.

But as the wait for a call grew longer and longer after NSW completed a record-breaking comeback win over Tasmania last Wednesday, Abbott grew more and more nervous.

"I was trying to pack all my gear up then had my phone call, I had to fightback tears there for a minute," Abbott said.

Abbott will find it hard to make his Test debut this summer, barring a setback to one of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood or James Pattinson.

Yet Australia's enlarged squad, a by-product of biosecurity rules, has given him an unprecedented chance to rub shoulders with Australia's best bowlers and batsmen for two months.

As such the 28-year-old is relishing the prospect of a Test bubble, even if it results in a significant delay to the start of his Big Bash League campaign.

"I'd certainly prefer to be in the place where I'm closest to hopefully playing for my country. Obviously that might mean I'm playing a bit less cricket," he said.

"But I'm learning from the best players in the country in the toughest format."

Abbott and teammates remain unsure just how much movement between the national squad and BBL franchises will be allowed.

Coach Justin Langer wants players to be released as much as possible, adding the caveat that biosecurity rules will make it "harder to come into the (Test) set up than go out".

Abbott knows the score well, having sat on the sidelines throughout Australia's limited-overs tour of England this year.

It was that trip that led to a fortnight of in-depth coaching from Langer plus quality net sessions against Starc and other quarantining stars in Adelaide.

"It was probably the best two weeks of training I've ever had," Abbott said.

The right-armer has since taken his bowling and batting to another level, having last week scored a maiden first-class ton.

Abbott will link up with the national limited-overs squad in a week.

However, he won't train alongside Australia's quarantining IPL stars prior to the ODI series opener at the SCG on November 27.