Bailey backs Doherty for recall

  • Last Updated: January 25 2013, 9:11 GMT

Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey has endorsed calls for spinner Xavier Doherty to return to the Test arena, believing he has matured immensely from the bowler who struggled in the 2010 Ashes.

Xavier Doherty: Backed for Test recall
Xavier Doherty: Backed for Test recall

Doherty has emerged as the likely understudy to off-spinner Nathan Lyon for the four-Test Series in India starting next month.

While the likes of New South Wales skipper Stephen O'Keefe and Queenslander Cameron Boyce are also in the running, Doherty's domestic form and performances in the recent one-day series look to have catapulted him to the front of the line.

The left-arm spinner played two Tests for Australia during the home Ashes series defeat a couple of years ago but failed to make the most of his opportunity.

But Bailey believes Doherty is ready for another shot at Test cricket, suggesting his domestic team-mate would thrive on the dusty sub-continent wickets.

"I've got no doubt he'd like to have another crack at Test cricket...I don't think he was very happy with how he bowled in that (Ashes) situation," Bailey told reporters.

"I don't think the circumstances were great for him either. He'd love another opportunity to rectify that and probably prove a lot of people wrong.

"I think he's in a really good place. He's at a really good age for a spinner and he doesn't easily get flustered when things don't go his way.

"He's confident in his own game, had got a good knowledge of where he's at and I certainly think the way he bowls would suit those (Indian) conditions.

"A left-arm spinner is going to be really important over there."

Doherty, who has been a regular member of Australia's ODI squad in recent seasons, played a key role in the win over Sri Lanka on Wednesday taking 3-21 form his 10 overs.

Asked what part of the 30-year-old's game has improved to earn a recall to the Test side, Bailey said: "It's more a maturity thing with (Doherty).

"What I see is someone who is very settled. There's been times in the Tassie (Sheffield) Shield side where he's had to change the way he's had to bowl.

"There's times where he has had to be more attacking and times where he has to be more defensive.

"I feel like he's worked that into his game. He can sum that situation up pretty quickly and adapt pretty quickly depending if the batsmen is coming hard or if it's his turn to push for wickets."

Another player looking to work his way back into Test calculations, starting with Saturday night's T20 against Sri Lanka in Sydney, is West Australian batsman Shaun Marsh.

The left-hander is coming off a sensational Big Bash League season with the Perth Scorchers and Bailey hopes he continues to play with the same freedom at ANZ Stadium.

"He's a beautiful striker of the ball but also very intelligent in the way he sets up his innings and that's whether he's chasing or setting a target," Bailey said of Marsh.

"A big part of that for Shaun is getting some consistent game time and staying on the park.

"He's been in great form and mentally he's in a great place so it's laid out for him to have a really good series."


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