ICC Champions Trophy

Bailey calls for calmness

2013-06-11 17:03
George Bailey (File)
Birmingham - Stand-in captain George Bailey insisted now was not the time for Australia "panic stations", despite their crushing opening Champions Trophy defeat by England.

Australia, bidding to win a third straight Champions Trophy, will look to get their Group A campaign back on track against New Zealand - the team they beat in the 2009 final in South Africa - at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

The manner of Australia's 48-run defeat by England at Edgbaston last week, and the fact they suffered another poor top-order display in the absence of injured captain and star batsman Michael Clarke, led to many dire forecasts about what might happen to the side in the Ashes series starting next month.

"We're not playing the cricket we'd like to play," Bailey told reporters at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

"Probably the best way to get over that would be to win this tournament. I think we only lost the first game thus far, so we're not at panic stations just yet.

"The loss hurt us as much as anyone, more than anyone. We don't want to be losing to England, we don't want to be losing to anyone, but more so than the loss, the challenge is to be playing our best cricket."

Since Bailey made his one-day international (ODI) debut in March last year, only England's Ian Bell and Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan have scored more runs in this format than his 819 at an average of 45.50.

During Australia's one-day series loss in England last year, Bailey played a lone hand with the bat and top-scored with 55 during last week's defeat by England.

"I think the challenge is when you've had a couple of poor batting performances that guys start to doubt their place on the team or their roles on the team, and what we want our guys to do is to go out and have that absolute clarity," Bailey said.

"That real freedom to bat the way we know that they bat, and that's different from how Shane Watson and David Warner will bat to how Adam Voges and George Bailey bat."

New Zealand, who have not played an ODI against Australia since losing to them in Nagpur during the 2011 World Cup, come into Wednesday's match on the back of a nail-biting one-wicket group win over Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

Kiwi left-arm seamer Mitchell McClenaghan and new-ball partner Kyle Mills took six wickets between them at Sophia Gardens and Bailey was well aware of the threat posed by the Black Caps, who before the Champions Trophy beat hosts England 2-1 in an ODI series.

"They're in good form. I think both their opening bowlers have been in pretty good touch. Kyle Mills is shaping the ball and I guess a bit of a one-day stalwart for New Zealand," Bailey said.

"And Dan Vettori (New Zealand's veteran left-arm spinner) is always someone that we will respect, pay the utmost respect to and play him really watchfully.

"They're playing some really consistent cricket. They're not relying too heavily on any one player, which is always a key."


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