Tasmania captain George Bailey says he’s never been more ready for a Test debut.
George Bailey is adamant his patchy Sheffield Shield performances will count for little when he makes his Test debut against England next week.
Bailey’s failure to turn starts into big scores since a stunning one-day tour of India continued on Saturday when he made just 16 in the second innings of Tasmania’s 129-run outright loss to Victoria at Bellerive.
The Tigers captain has made Shield scores of 34, 41, 37 and 16 since his return from the subcontinent, where he averaged 95.6 in Australia’s six matches.
“(It’s) frustrating not to get through and get big scores, (but) pleasing to be getting starts and to be feeling really good at the crease,” Bailey told reporters.
” … As a batter you’re always greedy to get more but you still start on zero.
“There’s no real lasting implications either way, whether you get runs or don’t.”
The 31-year-old, who skippered Australia in India, knocked down the door of Test selection with the sheer weight of his one-day runs and his undoubted leadership ability.
But his first-class average remains 38 and plummeted to 18.8 for the 2012/13 season.
Bailey said he had never felt more ready to step up, something he has done at one-day and Twenty20 international level.
“I feel I’m as aware of my game as I’ve ever been so I’m really comfortable with where that’s at, that I’m batting as I bat,” he said.
“That’s one of the things of getting a crack at my age, is you know you’re only going to get one crack at it so there’s no point going out there and trying to bat like anyone else but you.
“That’s a positive I see.”
Test opener Chris Rogers also struggled in the Shield match with scores of three and 11 after coming into it in superb touch.
Allrounder James Faulkner provided the positive for the Ashes squad in Hobart with a fighting 53 that threatened to save the game for Tasmania.
The 23-year-old put on 68 with Tim Paine (30) for the sixth wicket after they had come together at 5-116 with their side chasing an unlikely 337.
“We all know how destructive James Faulkner can be,” said Victorian opener Rob Quiney, who made 82 and 86.
“To get (Paine and Faulkner) within the space of two or three overs, that was the clincher.”