SYDNEY (Agencies): Former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has been appointed an assistant coach of the Australia men’s team alongside Andre Borovec as head coach Andrew McDonald builds his new team.
The duo will take up their roles for the Test series against Sri Lanka which starts at the end of June with Borovec, who has worked with the team over the last year, also coaching the Australia A portion of the trip.
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 has previously been a spin bowling consultant with Bangladesh. His franchise coaching resume also includes head coaching stints with Barbados Royals in the CPL, Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash, Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL and Middlesex in the Vitality Blast.
His brief will be similar to McDonald’s in overseeing Australia’s bowlers including their preparation, plans, and workloads as both individuals and a collective, as well as working in with the overall strategy of both the Test and white-ball teams. It also includes communicating with Australia’s domestic bowling coaches regularly around the various bowlers whenever they come from or head back to 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.
“Andre has been fantastic for the group when he has been involved as an extremely skilled and experienced high-performance coach. He is a great fit culturally and brings the skills to complement our high-performance specialists,” McDonald said.
“I have worked with Daniel previously and could not speak more highly of his approach, work ethic and rapport he brings. His experience and balanced style are well documented. He is a great fit and will bring an enormous amount of knowledge to the team.”
Michael Di Venuto remains the full-time batting coach and looks likely to step up for certain lower priority white-ball series when McDonald needs to rest. Other consultants could be called in for short-term assignments, as happened under Langer.
McDonald, Di Venuto, spin coach Sri Sriram and former Australia quick Clint McKay will coach the T20 and ODI squads in Sri Lanka.
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 added long-time Western Australia and Perth Scorchers physio Nick Jones to the men’s set-up as the replacement for David Beakley whose tenure controversially ended prior to the Pakistan tour.
They are also looking to appoint a full-time team manager role following the departure of long-time manager Gavin Dovey. Simon Allport will fill the role for the tour of Sri Lanka having worked under Dovey as the men’s team operations and logistics officer.