George Bailey ready to step up

2013-11-04 09:10
George Bailey (AFP)

Sydney - One-day specialist George Bailey said on Monday he feels ready to step up and play a part in the Test side as Australia attempt to wrest back the Ashes from England.

Australia's one-day captain plans to make another pitch for the Test number six batting spot in Tasmania's Sheffield Shield game with Queensland in Brisbane starting on Wednesday.

Bailey, 31, has received strong support to win a place in the middle order for the series opener at the Gabba starting on November 21 and has been earmarked by chief selector John Inverarity as an Ashes contender.

Asked if he felt ready to play Test cricket, Bailey, who has just returned from a prolific one-day series in India, said: "I feel like I am. I feel I am playing as good cricket as I ever have and I am still continuing to try and get better.

"I am at an age where you know you are only going to get one crack at it. So you do it exactly the way you want to do it and I think there are some positives in that too."

Bailey has at times struggled to fulfil his undoubted potential - he averaged just over 18 in 14 Shield innings last season - but said he has learned to block out the knockers.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell said in a weekend newspaper column that Bailey's batting technique was not worthy of a Test spot despite his glut of ODI runs.

"When you get to my age it's making small changes just to make sure you are as sharp as you can be, more mentally than anything else," Bailey said.

"What I have got out of the last couple of series is a lot of confidence in the way I play, not worrying too much about external factors. That's a nice way to be. I wish I had worked that out a lot earlier."

Bailey admitted his batting style is not "pretty" but said he has come to terms with it.

"When I watch the TV and see Ricky Ponting or Michael Clarke bat, that to me is beautiful," Bailey said.

"When I watch myself bat it is not that pretty. But once you come to terms with that and make sure it is as good as it can be I don't think anyone cares how it happens as long as you are making runs."

Read more on:    australia  |  george bailey  |  cricket

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