'I couldn't be more ready for a Test cap'

Australia

Australia limited-overs captain George Bailey says he is more than ready to be picked for the Ashes Test side, after a superb run of form in the one-day side sees him at the top of the list for the number six spot.

Australia limited-overs captain George Bailey says he is more than ready to be picked for the Ashes Test side, after a superb run of form in the one-day side sees him at the top of the list for the number six spot.

Bailey averages 54 in ODIs but has not yet made his Test debut, though that is likely to change during the Ashes after his three big fifties and huge century in the ODIs against India propelled him to the top of the charts.

The modest Tasmania batsman said: "I'd love the opportunity to see how I go. I feel like, in terms of my game, I know it as well as I ever have. I feel like I'm probably batting as well as I ever have.

"But I'm in a pretty good place so, if it doesn't happen, I'm pretty comfortable as well. My goal over the last 18 months has been to play Test cricket. It'd be a huge honour so, if it happened, I'd be thrilled."

Bailey had to face Australia and Queensland paceman Ryan Harris, who did superbly in England before getting injured, during a Shield game this week and the batsman said he found it a challenge comparable to facing the best in the world.

He said of playing Harris: "I don't think there's much harder in terms of facing fast bowlers in the world than him at his best, so that was a good challenge. It was certainly good to get some red-ball cricket in."

As for Watson's recovery, coach Darren Lehmann was positive the all-rounder would be fit for the opening Test, though in what capacity is yet unknown as he will not be risked for Shield matches.

Lehman said: "The reports from our medical team on Shane's recovery from injury are pleasing. We want him to continue his treatment and, if all goes to plan, join the Australian team in camp ahead of the first Test."

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