Queensland v Tasmania, Sheffield Shield, Brisbane November 6, 2013

Bailey survives after Silk hundred

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tasmania 2 for 291 (Silk 107, Cosgrove 74, Cowan 68*) v Queensland

Test aspirant George Bailey survived an unnerving spell from his potential Australia team-mate Ryan Harris late on the first day at Allan Border Field, where Tasmania dominated thanks to a century from young opener Jordan Silk. The Tigers went to stumps on 2 for 291 with Ed Cowan on 68 and Bailey on 34 from 46 deliveries, having held off a fiery Harris.

Although Shane Watson's fitness could force a rethink from the national selectors, Bailey has been considered a strong contender for the No.6 position in the opening Ashes Test after his impressive form leading Australia on the recent ODI tour of India. He could yet go on to a big score in this match, but was faced with some serious challenges early, including a painful blow on the left arm from the bowling of Harris.

Harris peppered Bailey with bouncers, so much so that he was even warned by the umpires, and Bailey survived a confident lbw shout and a top-edged hook over the cordon. Bailey's likely rival for a place in the first Test, his Tasmania team-mate Alex Doolan, may not have the chance to bat for Australia A until Friday, given England's wicketless start in Hobart, and Bailey will be keen to stake a claim before Doolan gets his chance.

Bailey had started the day by winning the toss and choosing to bat, and Tasmania began well with a 123-run opening stand between Silk and Mark Cosgrove. Cosgrove was the first man to fall, caught off the bowling of Cameron Gannon for 74, but Silk and Cowan then combined for a 116-run stand that kept the Tigers firmly in control.

The national selectors' main focus in this match was Bailey, but they will be increasingly pleased with the runs Silk has accumulated during his short first-class career. Silk, 21, made his debut in March this year and a pair of patient, composed centuries late in the Shield season earned him a call-up for the Australia A tour of the British Isles in June.

His second Shield summer did not begin auspiciously, with a pair against New South Wales last week, but he again showed his serenity at the crease with 107 from 250 deliveries against the Bulls. It was not a chanceless innings - Silk was put down on 9 off the bowling of Harris -but given the dearth of hundreds scored by Shield batsmen over the past couple of seasons, Silk's three in the first five Shield matches of his career stand out significantly.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • James on November 7, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    @azzaman, that's a bygone era.

  • Eddie on November 7, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Cosgrove should have played in the last 2 ashes tours. Just look at his record on English soil. About time selectors take consistent county form into account. Most Aussie batsmen have better records at home but players like Dave and Mike Hussey and Cosgrove are much better there

  • Jeremy on November 7, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Cosgrove is far and away the best option to replace Watson. He can bat anywhere in the top-middle order and has proven himself in Australia and England. That the selectors wouldn't pick him because he was too fat is disgraceful and even more so now that he's shed 16kgs in the off season. That's commitment - also he has just scored 70 odd with a broken thumb. Cosgrove should be put in the XI as a potential mid-long term top order batsman with a view to have both him and Silk opening the batting for Australia in the next two years. He also bowls some handy medium pace, just quietly.

  • Aaron on November 7, 2013, 2:07 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx; a little bit of extra weight didn't stop players like Shane Warne, Mark Taylor, David Boon, etc performing at test level. Cricketers just need to be match fit, they don't need to be able to run marathons.

  • Dummy4 on November 7, 2013, 0:13 GMT

    Cosgrove's first class average is almost the highest of anyone playing in the Shield this year. Now that he's lost weight he should be strongly in contention. Marcus North and Rob Quiney have decided they too are openers now, both have been in good nick.

  • Hamish on November 6, 2013, 23:28 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx, high skin folds would be putting it lightly... Good to see him shed a lot of weight though!

  • Alex on November 6, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    From what I recall Cossie was sent home (or suspended) from the Cricket Academy, had a run in with Sth Australian & Australian officials in regards to his fitness & diet, which has lost him friends within the system. SA actually sacked him & Tassie came to the party to pick him up. IMO I though he should have gone to England mid-year with his county record & he is consistently making runs in Aus 1st class when others are not. Unfortunatly I think his card maybe marked due to his past which is a shame. As I say I don't think fitness is soley the reason as he is making runs, so surely that says your fit enough to play. How many past Aussie greats would have been ruled out by those standards.

  • Scott on November 6, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    @Rahul Venkat, funny you mention him as Ferguson averaged 40 with the bat last season plus has already proven he can succeed at int'l level batting in the middle order in ODI's with an average of 41. He's also around 28 years of age and can field - and run! Yet, apparently nobody sees him as a contender, but Cosgrove is...very odd.

  • Graham on November 6, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    AhmedESat, Yes I am fully aware. He wouldn't be my first choice but from the selectors comments he is already in the side before this innings.So it is a good sign for the Aussie chances that he has been able to do well against Harris.

  • Steelo72 on November 6, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    @Rahul Venkat: Cosgrove a handy medium pacer? He's 29, still really has to prove his fitness (not sure how much weight he has lost) and get his attitude right for Test cricket. I do think there are a few guys ahead of Cossie like the article says, but I certainly wish Cossie all the best in reaching this level and he could do it with lots more runs than he has scored (wind back the clock and look at Hayden who scored over 1000 runs for 3 seasons) and some discipline in his life.

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