Australia’s Bailey to make Test debut against England

George Bailey will make his Test
debut in the opening Ashes clash
against England next week while
Mitchell Johnson returns to
Australia’s pace attack, selectors
said Tuesday.

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Bailey got the nod in a 12-man
squad on the back of his
remarkable one-day international
form including the recent tour to
India where he amassed 478 runs
at 95.60 while also serving as
captain.
“We have included George Bailey in
this line-up and are excited by
what he can offer at Test level,”
national selector John Inverarity
said of the 31-year-old, ahead of
the first Test in Brisbane, starting
on November 21.
“He is calm and composed and
comes into the squad full of
confidence.”
Bailey said his approach to the
five-day Test format would be no
different from that he employs in
the one-day game.
“It’s just good form, so just hit the
ball,” he said. “It’s the same
approach and I feel very
comfortable with where I’m at at
the moment.”
Selectors will be hoping he can
bring much-needed middle order
stability with the Tasmanian
preferred to state colleague Alex
Doolan.
“Alex Doolan is a very highly
regarded player in our eyes. But
George Bailey has been in fantastic
form with the bat,” said Inverarity.
There were no surprises in the
squad, with a rejuvenated David
Warner to open the innings with
Chris Rogers after hitting four
centuries in the past month and
all-rounder Shane Watson included
despite a niggling hamstring injury.
“Shane is progressing very well in
regaining his fitness and we’re
confident he’ll be fit to play,” said
Inverarity, although how much he
can bowl remains to be seen.
James Faulkner is likely to be 12th
man, although he will play if
Watson does not recover
sufficiently.
Johnson returns to the attack
alongside Ryan Harris and Peter
Siddle in the absence of the injured
Mitchell Starc, with the 32-year-
old left-armer set for his first Test
since Australia’s loss to India in
March.
Inverarity said Johnson’s bowling
has been impressive “with good
rhythm and generating good pace”.
“So we’re confident he will acquit
himself very well and he will be a
bowler to the fore in our attack.”
Skipper Michael Clarke was equally
effusive about Johnson, whom he
said had shown both speed and
control.
“I said a couple of days ago that if
Mitch was selected in this squad it
wouldn’t surprise me in a couple of
months’ time you see Mitch being
man of the series,” he said.
Australia go into the Test with
virtually all their players in good
form, either during the recent one-
day tour of India or in Sheffield
Shield games over the past few
weeks.
This is in stark contrast to the
Ashes tour of England earlier this
year when their preparations were
badly disrupted after coach Mickey
Arthur was sacked just 18 days
before the first Test and Warner
was suspended for ill-discipline.
Clarke said all players in contention
for the five-Test series had done
exactly what coach Darren
Lehmann had asked of them as they
attempt to reverse their 3-0 defeat
in England and prevent their old
rivals winning a fourth successive
Ashes.

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