DUBAI - Australia will break new cricket ground on Saturday when they take on minnows Afghanistan for the first time in a one-day international.

Australia’s acting coach Steve Rixon believes the extreme heat they will face in the United Arab Emirates when playing Afghanistan and Pakistan will be the perfect preparation for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

That heat was immediately apparent to the squad when they landed in the UAE early on Wednesday with captain Michael Clarke tweeting: “Just landed in Dubai. 5.30 am and it’s 37 degrees Celsius… Think we are in for a hot couple of weeks.” Afghanistan are getting recognised by getting matches against top teams of the world. This is the only way to develop cricket in the war-torn country. It will be Afghanistan’s second match against Test-playing nation — earlier they have faced Pakistan at the same venue in February this year.

Australia are ninth in the T20 standings ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in September in Sri Lanka, fourth in the one-day rankings and third in the Test format. Afghanistan are unranked in the T20 format, as they have not played the minimum amount of matches required – eight – in the past two years. However, they do have a positive win-loss record (6-5) from their 11 matches in Twenty20, with those wins coming over Canada (twice), Ireland (twice), Scotland and the Netherlands. Pakistan and Australia will play the first one-day in Sharjah on August 28 followed by second in Abu Dhabi (August 31) and Sharjah (September 3).

All three T20 matches will be played in Dubai on September 5, 7 and 10th.