Grooming Australian Test cricketers a challenge: Di Venuto

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: February 1, 2013, 2:41 PM IST

Bellerive, Tasmania: Australia's new batting coach Michael di Venuto is under no pretensions about the nature of the Test line-up after the retirements of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey and says he is aware of the difficulties the team could face in India and England this year.

Di Venuto, who played nine ODIs for Australia, was on Thursday unveiled as the team's batting coach following Justin Langer's vacancy in November, and his first assignment will the four-Test of India later this month. Ahead of assuming his new responsibilities and relinquishing his role as assistant coach of Tasmana and the Hobart Hurricanes Twenty20 side, the 39-year-old admitted he has a difficult job at hand.

"It is a tough time, we've got a couple of tough tours coming up in India and the UK so there's no place to hide," he told reports at Blundstone Arena on Friday."The legends have retired, the greats have retired and the very good Test players have retired. We've got a bunch of talented cricketers but (who) are yet to probably put up their hand and say 'I really want to be a Test cricketer'. That's the challenge of our coaching staff, to get the best out of them and watch them stand up and become proper Australian cricketers."

Di Venuto was confident in his skills as a coach, having worked with Tasmania for four-and-a-half years. "I come from the old school but I've played through the new era as well so I'm fully up to speed with how guys act and behave these days," he said. "I'm really comfortable in what I do and what I can bring to the batting (coach) role."

Reflecting on his time with Tasmania, Di Venuto singled out the rise of current Test opener Ed Cowan as a highlight. "Obviously the success of Ed Cowan, going through. He came down here as an average player from New South Wales, came in and really added some steel to our batting order and showed how good a player he can be.

We take great pride in that."

First Published: February 1, 2013, 2:41 PM IST

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