Australia's [ Images ] tour of India [ Images ] and Ashes series against England [ Images ] will hold them in good stead as they look to win their fourth successive cricket World Cup next year, batsman Mike Hussey [ Images ] said on Thursday.
Ricky Ponting's [ Images ] team have an exhausting schedule from October until the World Cup begins next February, playing two tests and three one day internationals in India in October and three one day matches against Sri Lanka [ Images ] back home in November.
Australia then play five Ashes tests and seven one-day internationals against England from late November until early February before the World Cup begins in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on Feb. 19.
"It's going to make us harder and used to top quality, pressurised cricket," Hussey said in a conference call from Brisbane [ Images ]. "You are going to need that heading into the World Cup.
"I think its going to be very important that our players are highly conditioned and mentally prepared for good hard, tough cricket ...it will only hold us in good stead."
Hussey added the relatively short tour of India before they return to Australia for their domestically-based international programme would not only give them valuable match practice but also reacquaint themselves with sub-continent conditions.
"Any time playing in the sub-continent has got to help and will be good preparation for the World Cup, which is so important for our team," he added of the Oct. 1-24 tour.
"In Indian conditions you can feel all at sea unless you spend time in them, so if you can get used to pitches, the heat and humidity, the fast outfields and things like that, then it does hold you in good stead.
"We have played some pretty good cricket over there as well and I guess that gives us a lot of confidence."
The 35-year-old was "very confident" his side would be ready for the Ashes, though he stopped short of repeating captain Ricky Ponting's statement they would regain the trophy with a 5-0 series victory.
"I can understand what Ricky is saying," Hussey said with a laugh. "We go into every test match trying to win it and I think that's basically what he means.
"I don't think he is making any claims or predictions we are going to win 5-0, but our aim is to go in and win every test match."
Despite the Ashes defeat in England in 2009 and 1-1 drawn series earlier this year against Pakistan, Hussey said there were positive signs for the England series that starts in Brisbane on Nov. 25.
"I've got a very good feeling about the Ashes," he said.
"A lot of legends left the team a few years ago, but we've been able to keep a core group of players together for a good couple of years now and we've been slowly building.
"We've built up a good base of fast-bowling stock. We've got the pain of losing last time as well."