January 23, 2008

Australian cricket

Whatever happened to Cullen Bailey?

Brydon Coverdale

As Australia struggles to unearth a quality new spinner in the post-Warne era one of their projects, the Cricket Australia-contracted Cullen Bailey, is not even getting a game for his state. In the Age Chloe Saltau chats to Bailey about how he intends to rectify that problem.

When the national selectors were searching the country for a replacement for the injured Stuart MacGill last month, Bailey was so far from selection that he rigged up a rope across the practice nets. In a desperate effort to rediscover the flight and turn that had deserted him, he looped the ball over the rope.

Unlike spin, the stocks of top-class wicketkeeper-batsmen around Australia are overflowing and Jon Pierik in the Herald Sun says it might be time for Adam Gilchrist to step aside from the Test cricket scene.

If Gilchrist plays through another home summer at age 37, will he still be the right man for the job come the 2009 Ashes series? If not, then New South Wales's Brad Haddin must be handed his baggy green next summer. That's only fair for Haddin, who would then have six Tests at home and a tour of South Africa to ready himself for England. At 30, Haddin - who earns a spot in the Australia one-day team as a specialist batsman - is at his peak. His time is now.


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

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