Bailey sets spies on England

  • Last Updated: January 28 2014, 7:46 GMT

Australia Twenty20 captain George Bailey is confident his side will be ready for anything new England try to throw at them during the three-game series.

George Bailey: Mitchell Starc is a welcome addition to the squad
George Bailey: Mitchell Starc is a welcome addition to the squad

England's beleagured squad will be refreshed by four fresh faces for the series - three of whom have spent the past month playing in Australia's Big Bash League.

Alex Hales, Luke Wright and Michael Lumb have all enjoyed some rare English success Down Under this winter, but Bailey believes his side are prepared for them.

The Tasmanian is set to lean on Cameron White - who captains Wright at the Melbourne Stars - for information before Wednesday's opener in Hobart.

"We'll tap into that and hopefully most of our bowlers have seen, played with or against most of those guys," Bailey said.

"Cameron White will help as someone who is a captain and done a bit of planning for a few of those guys.

"That will be an advanatage for us but also an advanatge for them because they will have seen our bowlers."

Australia sit eighth on the world Twenty20 rankings - two spots below England - and have named an under-strength squad with their Test stars set to fly out to South Africa on Wednesday.

The likes of David Warner, Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson will therefore be absent, while James Faulkner has been ruled out with a knee problem.

Cricket Australia confirmed that the all-rounder would also not make the Test tour of South Africa after undergoing surgery on the problem on Tuesday.

"James injured his knee during the Australia Day one-day international in Adelaide," physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.

"He has had subsequent scans and was reviewed by Cricket Australia's medical team and a knee specialist, and will require arthroscopic surgery on Tuesday.

"James' exact rehab plan and return to training and playing will be determined after surgery but unfortunately for him, he will not be available for the upcoming Test tour of South Africa.

"We are hopeful that he will recover in time to play the Twenty20 games on that tour and take part in the ICC World Twenty20."

In Faulkner's absence Moises Henriques has been called up for the Test series against South Africa while Kane Richardson has been included for the Twenty 20s against England.

Bailey wants his side to make a fast start in Hobart, as he looks to pour more misery on England before they return home.

While Australia have some lesser-known names in their team - including 20-year-old uncapped leg-spinner James Muirhead - the majority have been playing the shortest format for at least a month in the Big Bash.

"I think all first games are important for series in terms of momentum and confidence," Bailey said.

"It would be great to hit the ground running and you would like to think with the amount of T20 the guys have been playing there's no reason why we shouldn't get out there on Wednesday and play our best cricket."

After a hectic home summer Bailey is also looking forward to playing in front of his home fans.

"Personally it is always nice to come back and play here and it's been a really busy summer," he said.

"There haven't been as many days at Bellerive cricket wise as normal so it is certainly going to be great top be back and nice to get a couple of nights in your own bed as well."

Mitchell Starc is set to sit out the opener as he continues his comeback from injury.

The left-armer has not played since last summer's final Ashes Test at the Oval.

"I think he's still building up," Bailey said.

"I think the plan at this stage is for him to play the last couple or the last game of this series.

"It's certainly great to have Starcy back. I thought he was our best bowler at that last World Cup and when he is at his best he is someone who is specific in whats he does.

"He swings the ball up front and can take early wickets which just gives you a huge advantage and a lot of momentum going into their innings."


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