“I don’t want to skip any games,” he said. “Obviously [it’s] a tight turnaround but that’s part of playing cricket for your country at the moment…I don’t want to give up a game. There are a few guys resting tonight like Patty [Cummins] and Starcy, so it’s a hard team to get into and it’s an even harder team to stay [in]. Won’t be giving up my spot for a rest if I can help it.”
Abbott knows that Australia are in an exceptionally strong era of pace bowling, although his batting provides an extra string to his bow if there was ever a desire to balance the one-day side differently.
“I’m pretty realistic,” he said. “I know how talented some of the guys are that have been playing and also the next guys in. I use it as an opportunity to keep trying to get better and if I’m not playing I assume it will help them to get better because I’m pushing them to get better.
“If you aren’t getting picked because guys are playing really well the best you can do is keep going out and performing and keep getting better. I can cop that, if guys are playing really well, that’s fine by me, but I’ll be doing everything I can to get their spot. At the same time, I’m quite realistic that we have a hell of a talented pool of fast bowlers at the moment.”
“Obviously I didn’t play all that many games in the World Cup and that allowed me to go away and train with Alex Carey, Marcus Stoinis, these guys who also missed a few games,” he said. “Had a couple of hits with my good friend and long-time coach Trent Woodhill over the last couple of weeks to just work on a couple of things and it was nice to reap some rewards in a pressure situation.”
“I know what sort of leader [Will] is back in the Victoria set-up and how well he’s spoken of down there,” Abbott said. “As soon as we started talking, I knew he was ready for it. We’ve seen four debutants already who have gone about it in different ways but they have jumped on the front foot early and look ready to keep playing. Think there are some long-term options that we’ve seen already.”
Regardless, though, of how many runs Abbott scores it will still be with the ball as to how he judges himself. “It’s a game I’ll remember for a long time,” he said. “I’m chuffed with the runs, but my job is to go out there and take wickets and do the job with the ball.”