Adelaide: The Australian team is slowly shifting its focus back to cricket after more than a week of emotional turmoil caused by Phillip Hughes' death but coach Darren Lehmann has told his wards to take their time to recover and not push themselves too hard.
"With regard to getting back on the horse, what I would like each player and staff member to do is ... take your time with each step, it is important," Lehmann said in an e-mail sent to the team which was published by 'The Daily Telegraph' here.
Lehmann has already stated that players struggling to cope with Hughes' tragic demise are free to opt out of the opening Test against India. Australian skipper Michael Clarke is among those left shattered by the tragedy but is expected to play if he is match-fit.
"...whilst writing this, like all of you, there have been tears in this. Let them roll always lads. Firstly let me say that I/we have never been so proud of the way you handled everything at this time," he wrote in the e-mail.
"From players/support staff /ACA/CA, all have been fantastic at handling every aspect of a shit situation. The emotions will keep rolling on and we just have to deal with it the best we can.
"As we embark on another tough week and work towards trying to play again, we must, as everyone has said all the time, make sure we are doing everything for Hughesy's family first and foremost," he added.
Lehmann said players should try to heal themselves by doing everything they can to honour Hughes' memory.
"We need to take with us player #408 and make sure we do things for him, his family and ourselves. He would want us to look after each other and come up with a way to play and wear the Baggy Green again and do it proud," he said referring to Hughes' debut number.
"If someone is struggling, as I'm sure there will be a few, let someone know and make sure we have the best possible communication at this time as we have ever had before.
"...we need to start to think about preparing for cricket once more. How do we get there and how do we get our thoughts in the best possible space is going to be the question. The whole world is behind you as we search for answers within and the cricket world has been unbelievable," he added.