Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 13th 2013 Contents George Bailey is set to become Australia s
435th Test cricketer after beating his fellow
Tasmanian Alex Doolan for the final batting
place in the squad for the first Ashes Test
at the Gabba.
Bailey has been included in Australia s 12-
man squad despite his disappointing first-
class form over the past year, as the selectors
instead backed his strong efforts in one-day
internationals, including as captain on last
month s tour of India.
The allrounder James Faulkner has also
been included as expected, as has the fast
bowler Mitchell Johnson, who is likely to share
the pace duties with Ryan Harris and Peter
Siddle, while Nathan Lyon retained his position
as the lead spinner.
Shane Watson has been chosen despite suf-
fering a hamstring injury at the end of the
Indian tour and the selectors are hopeful he
will be able to bowl, which gives them a range
of options regarding the balance of the team.
Although batting the vice-captain Brad
Haddin at No 6 and Faulkner at 7 would be
a possibility, as in the final Test at The Oval
this year, the likely scenario is that Bailey will
fill the No 6 position on debut at the Gabba.
During a first-class career that has spanned
ten seasons, Bailey, 31, has scored 6011 runs
at 38.28, including 14 centuries, but his lack
of red-ball form last season initially seemed
to have hurt his chances of a Test call-up.
For Tasmania last year, Bailey scored only
256 Sheffield Shield runs at 18.28 and he later
conceded that he had struggled significantly
with the constant demands of changing for-
mats. However, the national selector John
Inverarity noted Bailey s form the previous
summer, when he had made 697 Shield runs
at 58.08, and it also helped that since Bailey s
ODI debut in March last year only India s
Virat Kohli has scored more ODI runs than
his 1539 at 54.96.
"It was certainly discussed at great length
last night," Inverarity said of the decision
between Bailey and Doolan. "Alex Doolan is
a very highly-regarded player in our eyes ...
George Bailey has been in fantastic form with
the bat. His confidence is riding high. His
performance in international one-day cricket
has been quite extraordinary and he s very
deserving of his opportunity."
Australia s T20 international captain since
his debut in the format in February last year,
Bailey has impressed the selectors in the shorter
formats not only with his run-scoring but
also his calm, intelligent leadership. Although
there was no place for Doolan in this squad,
he appears the batsman most likely to be
included if another opportunity comes up
during the Ashes, after his impressive 2012-
13 and strong start to this summer.
Apart from the inclusion of Bailey in the
12, the only other change to the side that
played at The Oval was the absence of the
injured Mitchell Starc, who has been replaced
by his fellow left-armer Johnson.
At 32, Johnson is set to embark on his third
Ashes series and the selectors hope he can
make the England batsmen jump, as he did
during the ODIs that followed this year s Ashes,
while also demonstrating improved control.
"I think he s bowling a lot more consistent
at the moment," the captain Michael Clarke
said. "His pace is certainly high, which is a
great start. But it doesn t matter how fast you
bowl, if you don t know where they re going
it s always easy to face as a batsman.
"I think Mitch has that control. He showed
that in the one-day format. I said a couple
of days ago if Mitch was selected in this squad,
it wouldn t surprise me if in a couple of
months time you see Mitch being Man of
Whether Johnson is one of four or five
bowlers remains to be seen, but the Australians
are hopeful Watson will be able to contribute
some overs despite struggling with a hamstring
problem he picked up on the ODI tour of
Watson is expected to bat at No 3, after
finishing the Ashes in England with a century
at first drop at The Oval, and Inverarity is
confident that will not be all he can do for
Watson s fitness to bowl could determine
whether there is a place for the allrounder
Faulkner, who performed well on debut at
The Oval and also made his maiden ODI cen-
tury in India earlier this month. Inverarity
said Faulkner was a player the selectors hoped
could offer plenty to the Test team in the
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Steven Finn works in the
indoor nets at the SCG
yesterday but is unlikely to
feature in the first Test.
PHOTO COURTESY ESPNCRICINFO
Kevin Pietersen has been passed fit to play
England s final warm-up match against an
Invitational XI in Sydney following the cor-
tisone injection he received to his right knee
Pietersen has only faced 10 deliveries in
competitive cricket on the tour so far having
sat out the opening match in Perth before
falling lbw to Trent Copeland against Australia
A. Even though he has rarely been a player to
put huge value in warm-up matches---and
particularly the runs scored---it is certainly a
meagre volume of time to have spent in the
middle before the first Test of an Ashes series.
He and the rest of the England team were
forced to train indoors again at the SCG yes-
terday as the rain, which has hampered their
preparations, continued to linger over Sydney
although the forecast for today and tomorrow
is much improved.
However, England s opposition is getting
weaker after batsman Adam Voges and left-
arm spinner Steve O Keefe were withdrawn
from the side. Voges is suffering from a back
problem while O Keefe has been added to the
New South Wales squad for their Sheffield
Neither will England be at full strength with
Matt Prior ruled out due to the calf strain he
suffered against Australia A and which has left
him doubtful for the first Test. Jonny Baristow
will take his place and could yet find himself
back in the heat of Test match battle after
seemingly being left with endless 12th man
Michael Clarke, relaxed and in good humour
as Australia named their 12-man squad for
the Gabba, used his press conference to
announce the England team saying he was
convinced about the XI that will take the field.
He listed the top seven including Michael Car-
berry as opener and Joe Root at No 6, picked
Prior (so the Australian captain is clearly con-
fident over his fitness) and named Chris Trem-
lett as the third seamer.
"Now he (Cook) doesn t exactly know that
yet but I know that s the eleven that is going
to take the field in the first test so we can start
our preparations as of today," Clarke said with
a big grin. "I m very confident that will be the
eleven that England will play."
There is a good chance he will be proved
correct about Tremlett after he faced Australia
A while both Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin
were left out. One chance could remain, most
likely for Finn, to stake a last-minute claim
for selection if England opt to rest James Ander-
son who has been the most impressive of the
quicks in the build-up.
Three years ago Finn was a certain starter
in the opening Test and took 6 for 125 in first
innings before being dropped after the Perth
Test which ended a run of 11 Tests. Since then
he has appeared 12 times during what is becom-
ing a stop-start career.
He was wayward against the Western Aus-
tralian XI, conceding more than five runs an
over through the match, and admitted it had
left him playing catch up if he wanted to reclaim
the Test place he lost after the opening Test
of the series in England earlier this year.
"Perth wasn t ideal for me; I didn t bowl
particularly well. But I thought I got better as
the game went on," he said. "I ve had some
good nets since then. It s just about transferring
that into the middle.
"Going at five an over, still, in the second
innings wasn t great. "That wasn t ideal for
me. But I ve put that under the carpet now;
I ve moved on and hope I ve learned from that.
I m still a little bit of a way off. The proof
of the pudding will be performances in the
Pietersen fit for
in Test squad
Possible England XI 1 Alastair Cook, 2
Michael Carberry, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin
Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Joe Root, 7 Jonny
Bairstow (wk), 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Graeme
Swann, 10 Chris Tremlett, 11 Steven Finn
Michael Clarke speaks at the launch of the
Ashes at the National Cricket Centre,
PHOTO COURTESY ESPNCRICINFO
Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson,
Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith, George
Bailey, Brad Haddin (wk, vice-capt), James
Faulkner, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan
Harris, Nathan Lyon.
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