Australia v Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Melbourne January 10, 2013

Bailey bristles over 'B-team' talk

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George Bailey is one of the more amiable men in Australian cricket, and certainly one of the most straight-talking, but don't suggest to him that he will be leading a B-grade side into the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Friday. At Bailey's pre-match press conference on Thursday, he bristled noticeably when asked about the perception that without Michael Clarke, David Warner, Shane Watson, Matthew Wade and Michael Hussey this was a second-string side.

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

It is natural for a captain to defend his team, but there is no escaping the fact that this is one of the least experienced outfits Australia have ever fielded in a one-day international. There will be three debutants for the first time since Steve Waugh, Bruce Reid, Dave Gilbert and Simon Davis all played their first game together in January 1986. And those three debutants, Phillip Hughes, Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja, will occupy the top three batting spots, the first time that has happened since the days of World Series Cricket, when Graeme Wood, Rick Darling and Graham Yallop did so in Antigua in 1978.

"Certainly all three have all earned their place - their domestic cricket record is outstanding," Bailey said. "A couple of Twenty20 games that Finchy has played [for Australia], he's played really well and was man of the match in one of those. Hughesy is obviously really at home in the Test side since he's been back there. They fully deserve it. Their domestic form has been really strong and they all have outstanding games for international cricket, Ussie and Hughesy in all forms."

In fact, it is their likely presence in Australia's Test squad to tour India that is one of the reasons Hughes and Khawaja are part of the ODI group, although both men have also enjoyed very productive Ryobi Cup campaigns this season. The selectors are keen to keep Khawaja and Hughes in the national setup and away from the Big Bash League in the lead-up to another important Test series, and that is just one of the selection factors.

For the same reason, men like Clarke, Warner and Wade are being rested ahead of heavy commitments, while longer-term planning for the 2015 World Cup meant the selectors felt there was little point playing the retiring Hussey. Whatever the case, the changes will provide opportunities for several players, including the debutants, Bailey, Glenn Maxwell and David Hussey, to impress the selectors and stake claims for inclusion on the Test tour of India.

"I think there are opportunities ... for a lot of guys in the side, the newer members of the side, to push for a claim on that Indian tour," Bailey said. "There is a lot of one-day cricket and some big Test tours coming up as well going forward and there are some holes that have been left in that Australian side ... There's no doubt there are opportunities to be grabbed.

"I'm not sure there'll be many blokes out there tomorrow thinking too much about the Indian tour. I think it's going to be challenging enough and enough on our plates trying to win this series let alone worry about that. It's a really simple equation for the batting group, and that's to score runs and be in good form for as long as you can to prove that you're a match-winner, to play spin well, and if you do all those things you'll certainly emerge."

Not only are there places up for grabs for this year's trips, but also the opportunity to become a regular in the one-day side. Michael Hussey's retirement will open up at least one full-time position, for which Finch might have the front-running as a short-form specialist, and although the World Cup is still two years away, the selectors are keen to blood some potential World Cup players now.

"There's a real air of excitement within the group," Bailey said. "There's no doubt the side's been picked with an eye on the World Cup in 2015 and hopefully by that stage, the guys that make it there, if they are the debutants now, have 40 or 50 games under their belt and feel more and more comfortable.

"We want them to go out and bat and bowl exactly as they are and not feel as though they have to replace a Ricky Ponting or a Mike Hussey. The skills the guys have got are good enough. it's about them going out and feeling comfortable enough to express that and I think if we do, this side's certainly good enough to get this side off to a really good start to the series."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kujo on January 12, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    @Meety on (January 11 2013, 01:16 AM GMT) thanks mate! Boy did we show them yesterday! I know we're only one game in but when was the last time Australia scored over 300 against quality opposition.

  • Khooni-Darinda on January 11, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    @Herath-UK 's comment "Is this an escape route as Sri Lanka is favourote to win the ODI series now they can come up with excuses."

    well, Do you think srilanka is favourite to win this series? See the results of first ODI, and then think again.

  • Darkmanx12155 on January 11, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Sorry "BRADMaN".......................

  • ANRAM on January 11, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I think Darkmanx12155 is forgetting the state Indian cricket now is. SL convincingly beat India to the finals of Commonwealth Bank series last Australian summer. Though Sri Lanka lost in the WC final they have a better track record than India in big tournaments. Just check the last 03 world cups. So pls do not make comments out of context. India is a team that gets beaten 9 times of 10 for the past few months and that is because of the arrogance of the Indian players. But this series is between AUS and SL so no need to compare with Indians

  • spas on January 11, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    @Darkmanx12155,

    I tried to understand your comment but couldn't. SL cant ever beat india in SL ? btw, who is BradmEn? Cheers mate.

  • Darkmanx12155 on January 11, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    AND yeah.... For those who cant remember how good the indians are.... Just check this link... Thanks Cricinfo.... http://www.espncricinfo.com/awards2011/content/story/599153.html

  • Darkmanx12155 on January 11, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    @StarHawk - Well said mate..... SL cant ever beat india in SL so SL beating india in india is just a dream.... Can't they remember what happened in 2011 WC final???? Indian have a good 2nd string mate.. Unlike any other country... Guys pls check Pujara foe an example... Look @ his domestic record... What more to say???? He is the next Bradmen...

  • on January 11, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    Whilst the ICC rankings are by no means perfect it is telling that Sri Lanka have 5 batsman in this match who are ranked higher than Australia's best, Bailey, and that Clarke, both Husseys, Watson and Warner are al ranked higher than any of the players named. I think that qualifies it as a B team.

  • Hammond on January 11, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    Bit weak this Aussie side. I'd be backing Sri Lanks in their preferred format. In fact, I think I will.

  • ShehanJ on January 11, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    @miles100 Do not count your Sri Lanka's chickens before they are hatched. Remember how Mahela made a funny prediction during the test series, that SL would create history ect? Australia are still playing in their own back yard and I have a gut feeling that they will win the ODIs 3-2.

  • kujo on January 12, 2013, 2:05 GMT

    @Meety on (January 11 2013, 01:16 AM GMT) thanks mate! Boy did we show them yesterday! I know we're only one game in but when was the last time Australia scored over 300 against quality opposition.

  • Khooni-Darinda on January 11, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    @Herath-UK 's comment "Is this an escape route as Sri Lanka is favourote to win the ODI series now they can come up with excuses."

    well, Do you think srilanka is favourite to win this series? See the results of first ODI, and then think again.

  • Darkmanx12155 on January 11, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    Sorry "BRADMaN".......................

  • ANRAM on January 11, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I think Darkmanx12155 is forgetting the state Indian cricket now is. SL convincingly beat India to the finals of Commonwealth Bank series last Australian summer. Though Sri Lanka lost in the WC final they have a better track record than India in big tournaments. Just check the last 03 world cups. So pls do not make comments out of context. India is a team that gets beaten 9 times of 10 for the past few months and that is because of the arrogance of the Indian players. But this series is between AUS and SL so no need to compare with Indians

  • spas on January 11, 2013, 6:48 GMT

    @Darkmanx12155,

    I tried to understand your comment but couldn't. SL cant ever beat india in SL ? btw, who is BradmEn? Cheers mate.

  • Darkmanx12155 on January 11, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    AND yeah.... For those who cant remember how good the indians are.... Just check this link... Thanks Cricinfo.... http://www.espncricinfo.com/awards2011/content/story/599153.html

  • Darkmanx12155 on January 11, 2013, 3:12 GMT

    @StarHawk - Well said mate..... SL cant ever beat india in SL so SL beating india in india is just a dream.... Can't they remember what happened in 2011 WC final???? Indian have a good 2nd string mate.. Unlike any other country... Guys pls check Pujara foe an example... Look @ his domestic record... What more to say???? He is the next Bradmen...

  • on January 11, 2013, 2:54 GMT

    Whilst the ICC rankings are by no means perfect it is telling that Sri Lanka have 5 batsman in this match who are ranked higher than Australia's best, Bailey, and that Clarke, both Husseys, Watson and Warner are al ranked higher than any of the players named. I think that qualifies it as a B team.

  • Hammond on January 11, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    Bit weak this Aussie side. I'd be backing Sri Lanks in their preferred format. In fact, I think I will.

  • ShehanJ on January 11, 2013, 1:24 GMT

    @miles100 Do not count your Sri Lanka's chickens before they are hatched. Remember how Mahela made a funny prediction during the test series, that SL would create history ect? Australia are still playing in their own back yard and I have a gut feeling that they will win the ODIs 3-2.

  • Meety on January 11, 2013, 1:16 GMT

    @kujo on (January 10 2013, 09:44 AM GMT) - agree 100%, we are a nation of whingers. Back when everyone wanted Pup sacked from the ODI side because his S/R was "to slow" - they wanted White to captain the team & his S/R was only about 3 runs "faster"!!! I was underwhelmed when Bailey was first picked for ODI sides, but I have to say he has excelled & has done everything that would of been expected of him. Not sure if I'd pick him in my best XI, but he deserves his spot. IMO though, Haddin is a better captain. @dunger.bob on (January 10 2013, 20:36 PM GMT) - Mae West - classic!!!!!!

  • Mary_786 on January 10, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    AndrewShultz Khawjaa and Finch have dominated in Ryobi cup this year, if i am not mistaken Khawaja is in the top 3 run scorers this year and is looking fantastic under boof who deserves alot of credit for his improvements. With Clarke and Watson injured and Mike Hussey not playing to allow David Huss to play its a good side and i predict a close and exciting game.

  • Paul_Rampley on January 10, 2013, 21:02 GMT

    @andrewschultz you need to watch more domestic cricket mate, Rahul Ashok is spot on as Khawaja is the third highest run maker in Ryobi cup this year and has been dominating in shield as well for the Bulls, one of the main reasons why we are number 1 on the shield table.

  • Optimistix on January 10, 2013, 21:01 GMT

    I'm an Indian, and find it ridiculous that anyone can "assert" that India is the best team right now, even in ODIs - didn't we just get beaten by Pak at home? And quite convincingly in the first two matches - it would be delusional to use the win in the dead 3rd match to infer that we're on the mend, the batting failed miserably in that match as well.

  • dunger.bob on January 10, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    Something that has amused me for years now is how every move Aus. makes is analysed within an inch of it's life by all and sundry. Not only that, but everyone is looking for different things. For example, the Asian teams seem to be convinced that all we are interested in is sabotaging or insulting them while the Poms like to explain how our pathetic offerings are simply not a patch on the magnificence that is their team of unparalleled world beaters. .. .. oh well, as Mae West once said, "it's better to be looked over than overlooked". ..

  • zan_69 on January 10, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    Doni and INDIA going to loose another series 5-0

  • StarHawk on January 10, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    @miles100, did you say Lanka could beat India at home?? hahaha, joke of the new year!! Did you forget the kind of beating we gave you when we came to Lanka a few months ago??

  • swauzzie on January 10, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    @miles100 Hmmmmm - your comment "If they do, then SL would have won the test series easily" Which test series were you reffering I wonder? (I'm going to have to rule out the Oz series to start with - because that's just absolutely hysterical mate lol) I don't recall them having a series recently against Ireland where they could have done as you wrote there - "they would have won easily - if they had've had som good fast bowlers!" I say Ireland because thats the only team I could think of that SL could possibly win a test match aginst against - perhaps with a bit of luck.....

  • sharidas on January 10, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    I wish I ndia would follow the Aussie lead and put some more new faces in the team. Of course, I would not write this Aussie team off under any circumstances.

  • miles100 on January 10, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    SL might even win this 5-0 against AU if they get their mindset to together.Even the young SLs alone is capable of winning the series. This SL side will beat India in India on any given day. SL lacks some good test fast/swing bowlers like Vaas and Malinga in the test squad. If they do, then SL would have won the test series easily. SL gave away the test series mainly beacuse the test fast bowling unit is weak. But it is a totally different case when it's come to the fast bowling unit of the SL in one day cricket. They can be considered as one of the best fast bowling units in the world in terms of one day cricket.

  • swauzzie on January 10, 2013, 14:58 GMT

    @Darkmanx12155 In which alternate universe is INDIA the best team in tne world? & in which format. Test - max nr4 (SA, OZ, ENG are light years ahead of poor old Inda) Before Inda ca become a force in world cricket they need to do some hard thinking about the future! Make som tough calls against their "over the hill" batsmen ie drop them & get some new talent happening (yes INCLUDING Sachin). Untill they grow up & do this they're going to continue to be just a second rate side. Sorry man, it's the truth dude.

  • Darkmanx12155 on January 10, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    Aus 5 SL-0 thats the result... India will beat the hell out of Eng. 5-nill. Wanna bet??? SL players will perform well only in IPL,BPL etc...Not when they r playing for their own country... Stop arguing guys... Whether you like it or not, INDIA is the best team in the world...

  • leave_it_to_the_umps on January 10, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    Everyone demands the new young guns in the team and now that there is an opportunity to pick them what does everyone do... whinge about Australia B being picked!! All 3 have played international cricket (just not ODI) , are in good form and have an opportunity to impress the selectors whilst Clarke (injured), watson (injured), warner (rested), hussey (dropped),& wade (rested/giving Haddin achance to get his spot back) have a break ahead of a busy overseas schedule

    I could see an argument for keeping hussey in the team to give some experience but why not throw these guys in the deep end and see how they go.. afterall these are the upcoming players who we will rely on to win back the world cup in 2015.

    P.s. my Money is on hussey being back forthe frist two games of the West indies series which are in perth so that he can have a big send off

  • fazald on January 10, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    Despite all the big talk Sri Lanka's record against Australia in ODi cricket is as pathetic as their poor record in test cricket between the two countries having won only one ODI series in 2010 by 2 matches to 1 for the first time on Australian soil since gaining test status 30 years ago. Sri Lanka has a very good chance of improving their record this time thanks to the Australian selectors who have picked a second string side minus their experienced batsmen captain Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Shane Watson and Dave Warner which could be termed as an Australian A side with very little experience with six players making their debut for the first time.Sri Lanka has won the world cup in test cricket only once to Australia's four.

  • KingofRedLions on January 10, 2013, 13:26 GMT

    How many people are missing from the first XI? Four? Hardly a B team.

  • Herath-UK on January 10, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    Do not expect a Sri Lankan win in any bilateral series with India.IPL & reasons are quite obvious whatever others may try to argue. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • Herath-UK on January 10, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    It is difficult to fathom what is the real reason for withdrawing so many regulars from the ODI team; if resting needed for key players,the ideal would have been to beat the opposition with your strongest team in the first 2/3 games and then rest any number once the series won.Is this an escape route as Sri Lanka is favourote to win the ODI series now they can come up with excuses. Ranil Herath - Kent

  • ozwriter on January 10, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    bailey the first specialist captain following on from steve smith the first specialist fielder

  • RandyOZ on January 10, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    We are sending our B side because we dont want the game to be over in 20 overs. Sri Lanka, as shown in the tests, are pathetic and we want the crowd to get their money's worth - hence the B side. These 'one day specialists' that they are sending couldnt even make the test side so we are hardly quaking in our boots.

  • gnanzcupid on January 10, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    @baseball_sucks. Seems you look like another lankan fan baffled by your repeated losses to your neighbour. Haha. Fans like you should not be following cricket with such vengeance. Don laugh at your neighbour's loss dear. A day will come when the whole world will laugh at you. Cant understand why the lankan fans have a grudge of indians. I think it is more of a desperation and despair due to repeated losses to india. What suprises me is that these two countries are not aus and england and not even india and pakistan,but why do they quarrel like this. If you are a lankan fan remember that we are fielding young team and lets wait to see how you perform.

  • Narbavi on January 10, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    @Baseball-Sucks: we are a two time world champion, we know what being no.1 in test cricket feels like, we have won tests in australia, we have won test series in england, if we are not worth enough to play cricket then what about your team which hasn't even come close to whatever i mentioned above?

  • Baseball-Sucks on January 10, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    @Narbavi ; yeah, of course you lost 0:8 back then. Then you lost again 1:2 at home. Then again you lost 1:2 (odi) at home. And now you waiting to get trashed in a few days AT HOME. And we always support your opponents. You know why ?? Its coz we don't think you are worthy of playing Cricket. Period.

  • Doonish on January 10, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    Bailey-haters like Boston_Pride and elle119 are getting pretty boring. Have you actually followed games of actual cricket in the last year? Kujo is right - Bailey has been as good as anyone, if not better, since he came into the ODI side. You might resent him being parachuted into captaincy but that doesn't mean you shouldn't give credit where it's due.

  • tfjones1978 on January 10, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    I believe that this is the best selection board that I have seen in a long time! I notice that a lot of the people that have issues with the current selection panel are not Australians or are Australian commentators (ie: non-Australians!). Australia needs to make use of these matches, a win with experienced players that leads us with no tour options or a loss with up & coming players that will become the backbone of Australia in years to come. I would like to see Australia go a step further and have a 25 player rotation with best four play max 80% matches (ie: 3.2 positions per match), next four play max 70% matches (ie: 2.8 positions per match), next four play max 60% matches (ie: 2.4 positions per match), next eight play max 30% of matches (ie: 2.4 positions per match) and remaining five fill in the remaining 5% to 10% of matches (ie: 0.8 positions per match). This would create diversity and allow players like Mike Hussey to rotate in for home test matches only.

  • Rocketman1 on January 10, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    ABCDEFG...@Maxim, yeah you're right mate. Where was this talk of the Lankan B team that lasted 4 days in Sydney Test? The SL youngsters who were given an opportunity did well, and the same opportunity has been given to this new Aussie outfit. How many players have Australia rested? Clarke - hammy risk, Watto - calf, Mike Hussy - basically Dropped! Just Warner when you think about it. There are 11 men on a team. @ Colombo_SL chill out. Don't waste time with the passionate Indian supporter. He should be focusing on Eng v Ind. In the past SL have fielded dodgy teams against Australia's juggernauts and no one complained. Anyone remember Fernando, Mubarak, Silva?

  • gnanzcupid on January 10, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    @colombo_sl. Let me put it in this way. How do you substantiate that we underestimate our domestic side when we call the current side as second string team. It only gives the meaning that even our b team is more than world class and capable of upsetting sides like lanka(a world class team which you claim for having been runner up in wc all the life of mj and sanga)

  • Shaggy076 on January 10, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Look at who we have out - Warner well with his one day record you could easily argue Finch and Hughes are worth a crack. Im sure Warner will come in game 3. So other that Hussey has retired, Clarke, Watson are injured. I cant see any difference between Wade and Haddin in one day internationals. The regular one-day bowlers are playing, remember Siddle, Pattinson, Bird rarely play domestic one-day internationals, Hilfenhaus is injured. In essence we are not far short of our best one-day team available. Im confident this side can go out and win this series as there are several good players in this team. Finch and Hughed been in awesome form, Haddin cn be a match winner, Bailey D Hussey, Khawaja can coast at a run ball. Maxwell can hit. Starc, Johnson can take wickets and Mckay and Doherty are tidy bowlers (although everyone wants to harp on about one bad game from Doherty). The only problem I can see is we need to get 10 overs out of Hussey, Maxwell and Finch.

  • Narbavi on January 10, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    @colombo_SL: Well sir, we all saw what many of your fellow countrymen posted when india lost 8-0, and also i hope u remember during the t20 world cup whenever india played, your countrymen painted our opposition's country flags on their faces and cheered for them, i even saw people getting frustrated whenever our opposition lost a wicket!! So people like you are rare, we all want to appreciate good cricket no doubt about it, but some people make us retaliate!!

  • elle119 on January 10, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @ colombo_SL, I feel your comment on Bailey laughing is exactly what is wrong with Bailey as a captain. I don't mind the occasional smile as it shows a good nature and is conducive to a good playing atmosphere. But I see him laughing ALL the time. I watched him in some of the T20 games he captained. When Australia were conceding runs left right and centre, he is still laughing. When the bowlers constantly err in line and length and get taken apart, he is still laughing. He is smiling and carrying on when he should be tearing into his bowlers and letting them know that its not good enough and if they don't improve, they are out of the attack and the next game. Also I get the feeling he is being picked as a specialist captain, which is strange since he makes some pretty poor decisions on the field. Finally, spot on @Geoff Carruthers, if this team was anywhere near an A or B team, Bailey would not be there.

  • Winsome on January 10, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    It doesn't look like a B side to me. Huss needs to go anyhow as we have a World Champs coming up soon and he won't be part of it and David Warner has hardly set the place alight since he's been in the one day team. It's well past time that Phil Hughes was given a shot, he's got fine stats in this format. Ussie has played test cricket for Aus so is hardly a novice. Talking down the Aus one day team in this manner is typical from Aus journos now. I'm fed up with the lot of them and their continual moaning. There is some really positive things to be gained from trying new players, I would have thought that was obvious.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    @Narbavi; Every individual is very proud of their own country, race & religion etc. It is the nature. We love cricket & are eagerly waiting to see good performances of own teams. Even though, we can appreciate good players & good things of other countries. We always love to see improved performance of Indian team & any other team as well. We can enjoy your movies, your songs & worship religious places in your country. So as the cricket. As far as i concern, most of the Sri Lankans never celebrate your defeats. We just love to see good cricket around the globe.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    I feel emptiness of this series not because of strange (so called weak team) Australian team but because of Tony Greig. We are unlucky not to hear your voice again. You had the good habit to give the credits for people when it was due irrespective of where you come from. RIP Tony!

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    This is what Bailey has said about there team. "I think they're about to go into negotiations for the TV rights. I think that was a pretty tactical move to try to talk down one-day cricket and what the Australian team's putting out. But it's still called the Australian cricket team.". well said Bailey, yes it is Australian team. It is not written on the records as Sri Lanka Vs. Australia B.

  • Narbavi on January 10, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    @gnanzcupid: appreciate your comments and @colombo_SL nice of you to wish both india and lanka because these days not many do that, u very well know

  • kujo on January 10, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    What the hell is the matter with my fellow Aussie supporters. I'm quite pleased with the depth of limited overs cricketers we boast and as Maxim Payne said they are very able replacements for the players rested. I understand that we won't have out best team on the park tomorrow but is degrading the players that have been picked really necessary? And the lack of support shown for Bailey is incredible. Been Australia's top run scorer since he came into the side, averages 40 and strikes at 77.5 and averages 35 in list A and strikes at 83 as well as being very well respected by domestic teammates and opponents. Holds the record for the 2nd fastest T20 half century in Australia as well so he knows how to get things moving when he needs to. I can still remember only a couple of years ago people calling for Clarke's head. We've become a nation of whingers when I thought that was England's role.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 9:37 GMT

    @Narbavi & @gnanzcupid; 1. Inclusion of Baily as captain is purely shows that cricket Australia (CA) is not farsighted. Because they haven't got a stand-in captain after Clarke. Watson is injured right now. So, Baily is the best option they have to think about. 2. You said, "the top 3 of australia are making their debuts tomorrow, haddin is making a comeback in the one day team at the age of 35, bailey is captaining". Yes it is true. 100% agree with you. But it is not a bonus given to them. It is not an incident that happened by chance. It is purely due to their hard work, dedication & performance. Most of the guys are performing well in BBL. So they are in form & they deserved that place. Inclusion of new players is their strategy. They are the cream of the Australian cricket (Shorter format of game) right now. They have played well with foreign players. @gnanscupid, if you tell this your B team, you automatically put down the standard of your domestic league.

  • pat_one_back on January 10, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    Development squad! Once upon a time when ODI was taken seriously, key players were rested one at a time in respect for the team, the sport and it's fans. 'Coincidentally' this new approach builds profile for BBL regulars, aka marketable sporting assets.. Seems tippety run (T20) is the tryout for backyard cricket (ODI) which may lead to a real game of cricket (Test) at the park! And it's all too enticing to drop back early and clean up as a tippety run ringer or sharp shooter. anyhoo ..Happy enough with the selections for these try outs but, if these 'fantasy cricket' selectors insist on running a business then they need to appreciate that you can't give half your staff the month off, bring in temps and think you won't p%ss of more than a few colleagues and customers!!!

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    @Narbavi & @gnanzcupid; I don't try to argue with you about this is A or B team. What i have to tell you, you can view half closed door as a half opened door. It is entirely depend on your aspirations or attitudes. You will see this world as green in colour until you remove your green glasses. Anyway, interested on your comments.

  • ooper_cut on January 10, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    Come to think of it, even their test team is like a B or C team compared to what Oz teams were before. England will be drooling for the back to back ashes.

  • Narbavi on January 10, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    @Meety: C team to spank india? we will see about that, let's see whether your boys can back up your words!!

  • gnanzcupid on January 10, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    @colombo_sl mate why do you get furious at @narbavi's comment. Most of us know that we are not fielding the best side against lankan side inorder to test our bench strength. Cant you see that our proven match winners are missing here. Itnt is obvious that we are fielding a second string side? Why do you wanna downplay @narbavi's comments when you are confident that your full strength team(barring sanga) can beat our second string side, which even few of aus fans feel? Or is this a precautious defence fearing that the lankans would get beaten? Don worry mate. Even i believe the lankans wont go winless. Try to Be a little codifent with your side(i know its difficult considering your recent run). But being an international side lankans are expected atleast to win the australian b side.

  • on January 10, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    Bailey can bristle as much as he likes; the fact is that this is very nearly a "C" team. If we selected players on form instead of availablity Bailey would not only not be captain, he would not be in the team. The whole idea of resting players after a strenuous Test series (around 23 days played in 2 1/2 months) is ludicrous. Other professional athletes, say in the football codes, must be wondering what is going on as they sweat through pre- season training followed by a season where they would be expected to play every game. Cut down on the training and just let the players play - we had far less injuries in past days when training was nowhere near as intense.

  • swauzzie on January 10, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    It would appear that the Aussies have a lack of respect for their opponents. Considering this line up that they are sending in to challenge the Lions. Personally I think this team is far & above capable of beating the Lankans, because basically the Aussies could feild a "C" team & they'd still win. Huge depth in Oz at the moment. Hope to see Cutting have a game soon to. There's an allrounder that really deserves his chance to show that he's a class act - a game breaker & has that "X factor" that every team wants in its side!! Look forward to some great games!!

  • Narbavi on January 10, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    @ colombo_SL: no way!! come on mate, i just mentioned the fact that australia are playing with their B team, isn't it true?

  • on January 10, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    Is it really that much of a B side? when you think about it, no, it is a damn strong side. Finch is one of the best hitters in Australia, his T20 form being excellent as of late. Hughes has the second highest average of any Australian, and highest of any current player for domestic one day matches. Khwaja is a brilliant stroke player, as can be seen in his recent strong performances for the dreadful Sydney Thunder. Bailey is the leading ODI run scorer for Australia since he made his debut. Haddin is in fine form, possibly at the peak form of his career. David Hussey has saved Australia's ass on numerous occasions with his bottom order run scoring and his tight off spinners. Warner is resting, but only average mid 20's in ODI's, not exactly lighting the world on fire, Clarke is injured, and Wade is the only ommission is close to questionable, but Haddin is clearly strong enough and they wish to take him to India

  • andrew-schulz on January 10, 2013, 7:48 GMT

    Rahul ashok: Khawaja dominating in Ryobi? Please explain?

  • Meety on January 10, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    @Narbavi on (January 10 2013, 06:04 AM GMT) - we''ll send our C-Team to spank India soon too! == == == Experience wise this not a full strength team, but when you have legends like Punter, Lee & Hussey retiring in less than a year, there will always be a net loss in collective experience. Add to that - the need to rest Clarke (genuinely), & our 4 most experienced players of recent times are out of action. Watto is injured & the reality is, that Oz was always going to field an experienced side. Pressure is on SL, they won't want to lose to this team - & the debutant Ozzys will have a point to prove. There is a fair arguement that any of the top 3 could of been blooded a lot earlier than now, so the side is not low on talent. In some ways this will be the most exciting ODI for a while, as the NSP over the last 12mths has been using ODIs as experimental grounds for Tests or T20s. The debutants here all have genuine ODI credentials. Can't wait.

  • boston_pride on January 10, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    How Sir Bailey keeps making it to even an Aus B team is beyond imagination leave alone captaining it... He is a lousy middkle order batsman who doesnt rotate the strike enough and adds pressure on others arnd while he sticks arnd till the end n gets a nive 60 odd at a SR of 70...

  • Narbavi on January 10, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    @colombo_SL: come on mate i am not the one making excuses here, just telling the facts, look at this, the top 3 of australia are making their debuts tomorrow, haddin is making a comeback in the one day team at the age of 35, bailey is captaining, isn't this a B team then?

  • on January 10, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Where was all this talk of "B" teams when Sri Lanka were injury ravaged by the Sydney test, they were very competitive there as well. By the way, Warner and Wade don't have the greatest ODI records, so I think Hughes, Finch and Khawaja will be very able replacements.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Quite interesting one day international matches are going to be taken place. Aus vs Sl & Eng vs Ind. Good opportunity for every team to move up on the rankings. I wish both India & Sl to make subcontinent happy at least in the shorter format of the game.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    I really love to see George Bailey in action. What ever the out put, he is laughing. what ever do we want?. He is really positive & proactive. I feel, he has the ability to guide this strange Australian team to the destination where Australians want.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    I'm sure this team may give us a surprise. So it is always better to know the destination before the journey starts. Sri Lankans can grab this series easily if & only if they can do their basics correct. Don't want to be panic at all.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    We played well with their so called A team in CB cup & the bilateral series before that. So they know that it is too difficult to beat us in ODIs with their traditional team. So this is their best & strongest team at present. It is better to do the basics correct & consider single match at a time.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Seems to be a specialist one day squad. Good team & only the experience may be the big issue for them. Australia has put the best foot forward to wrap up the 2015 WC. This is their strategy. This may be a pilot run. It is Sri Lanka's duty to dismantle this strategy & the strong Australian team at the very outset on behalf of the other countries which are dreaming on 2015 WC. Come on Sri Lanka, don't postpone what you have to do today until tomorrow.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    @Narbavi; If Sri Lanka Win, it is Australia's B team. If Australia win, even Sri Lanka can't beat Australia's B team. What ever the out put, you are satisfied. Nice way to think mate!

  • on January 10, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    I can remeber there comments on lions last & previous summer but in the end lions were on top: Guys can u remember the story of mcg 2 years ago. Lets wait and see with out bost

  • Sunil_Batra on January 10, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    I don't agree that this is an A team, sure Warner could have played, but Clarke is resting his hamstring injury, Mike H was kept out so D Huss can have a chance and the likes of Finch and Khawaja deserve their debuts after dominating in Ryobi.

  • Narbavi on January 10, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Ofcourse this is a B team, lanka is so lucky here, if they still fail to win a match in this tour then i don't know whom should Australia send to play against them!!

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  • Narbavi on January 10, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Ofcourse this is a B team, lanka is so lucky here, if they still fail to win a match in this tour then i don't know whom should Australia send to play against them!!

  • Sunil_Batra on January 10, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    I don't agree that this is an A team, sure Warner could have played, but Clarke is resting his hamstring injury, Mike H was kept out so D Huss can have a chance and the likes of Finch and Khawaja deserve their debuts after dominating in Ryobi.

  • on January 10, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    I can remeber there comments on lions last & previous summer but in the end lions were on top: Guys can u remember the story of mcg 2 years ago. Lets wait and see with out bost

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 6:47 GMT

    @Narbavi; If Sri Lanka Win, it is Australia's B team. If Australia win, even Sri Lanka can't beat Australia's B team. What ever the out put, you are satisfied. Nice way to think mate!

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    Seems to be a specialist one day squad. Good team & only the experience may be the big issue for them. Australia has put the best foot forward to wrap up the 2015 WC. This is their strategy. This may be a pilot run. It is Sri Lanka's duty to dismantle this strategy & the strong Australian team at the very outset on behalf of the other countries which are dreaming on 2015 WC. Come on Sri Lanka, don't postpone what you have to do today until tomorrow.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    We played well with their so called A team in CB cup & the bilateral series before that. So they know that it is too difficult to beat us in ODIs with their traditional team. So this is their best & strongest team at present. It is better to do the basics correct & consider single match at a time.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    I'm sure this team may give us a surprise. So it is always better to know the destination before the journey starts. Sri Lankans can grab this series easily if & only if they can do their basics correct. Don't want to be panic at all.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    I really love to see George Bailey in action. What ever the out put, he is laughing. what ever do we want?. He is really positive & proactive. I feel, he has the ability to guide this strange Australian team to the destination where Australians want.

  • colombo_SL on January 10, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Quite interesting one day international matches are going to be taken place. Aus vs Sl & Eng vs Ind. Good opportunity for every team to move up on the rankings. I wish both India & Sl to make subcontinent happy at least in the shorter format of the game.

  • on January 10, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Where was all this talk of "B" teams when Sri Lanka were injury ravaged by the Sydney test, they were very competitive there as well. By the way, Warner and Wade don't have the greatest ODI records, so I think Hughes, Finch and Khawaja will be very able replacements.