Bailey has faith in ODI squad

  • Last Updated: January 10 2013, 8:31 GMT

Australia's one-day captain George Bailey has confidence in the unfamiliar squad he will lead in the five-match series against Sri Lanka, backing them to become the country's team of the future.

George Bailey: Has defended team selection
George Bailey: Has defended team selection

The national selectors named a revamped 13-man ODI squad last week, with four players uncapped in the format including the top three in the batting order - Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja.

The move was designed to rest the country's more senior players, who were either battling niggling injuries or needed a rest following the summer's two three-Test series against South Africa and Sri Lanka respectively.

Bailey hit back at suggestions Australia would be fielding a 'B' team and stressed the squad selection not only took upcoming tours to India and England into account but also the 2015 World Cup, which will be held Down Under.

"It's still the Australian cricket team, isn't it? I'm sure Sri Lanka won't be taking it as an Australia 'B' team," Bailey said.

"There's no doubt there's one eye on different tours this year and also on the World Cup in 2015.

"I think if these guys perform really well, what you could see is the core of the Australian side come 2015.

"I think you'll see these guys a lot more in one-day cricket, I think you'll see some of them play Test cricket, so the calibre of player is certainly there."

Bailey said it would be exciting to see debutants Finch, Hughes and Khawaja all at the top of the batting order against Sri Lanka, and suggested they now had a big opportunity to cement their places in the national one-day set-up.

"All three have earned their place, their domestic record's outstanding ... they all have outstanding games for international cricket," Bailey said.

"It's a huge opportunity and a great one ... what you want from your top four, top five in one-day cricket is for them to score the bulk of the runs and to win you the game.

"Whether it's your first game or your 50th game, that expectation doesn't change."

Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene believes it will be vital to get a good result in Friday's opening ODI at the MCG as they bid to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat in the Test series.

"It's very important I think (to get a good start). We are disappointed with the Test series," he said.

"I think we move on from that MCG Boxing Day Test match and the one-days are a good opportunity for us to start fresh, Melbourne is a pretty good hunting ground for us.

"So we just need to make sure that we start well tomorrow, whether it be with the bat or the ball, and try and keep that pressure going for the Australians.

"We've had a chat how we want to go about this series so the first game becomes very important."

Former captain Kumar Sangakkara will miss the series but pacemen Nuwan Kulasekara and Shaminda Eranga are expected to play tomorrow following injuries.


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