Cricket - Di Venuto picked to coach Australia's batsmen

Former one day international Michael Di Venuto has been appointed Australia batting coach ahead of one of the most testing years of cricket the country has faced.

Cricket - Di Venuto picked to coach Australia's batsmen

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Durham's Michael Di Venuto bats against MCC

Di Venuto, and explosive batsman who played nine one-dayers for his country in 1997, is the permanent replacement for former Test opener Justin Langer, who left the job to coach Western Australia.

Australia have lost a wealth of experience from the middle order of their batting line-up with the recent retirements of Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey but have little time to bed-in replacements.

With a four-test tour of India followed by back-to-back Ashes series this year, the frequent fragility of Australia's top order will also once again come under scrutiny.

Lefthander Di Venuto, who played for Derbyshire, Durham and Sussex, was most recently an assistant coach with his native Tasmania.

"We wanted a batting coach who was working within Australian cricket and who had also represented Australia as a player and Michael certainly brings those two aspects to the table, as well as a wealth of experience in first-class cricket," coach Mickey Arthur said.

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