Batting coach negates Bailey criticism


Batting coach Michael Di Venuto has insisted new recruit George Bailey has the ability and mindset to succeed at Test level.

Batting coach Michael Di Venuto has insisted new recruit George Bailey has the ability and mindset to succeed at Test level.

Bailey has been included in a 12-man party for the first Ashes Test, which will get underway in Brisbane on Thursday, but has faced plenty of criticism for an awkward technique.

"When I've seen people bowl short to him he normally plays it pretty well," said di Venuto. "He has got a pull and a hook shot, it's just picking the right balls, like it is with anything.

"Test cricket is all about decision-making, whether you're going to play at the ball or not, because you're there to bat for long periods of time.

"It doesn't mean you have to change your attacking ways, it's just a matter of picking the right balls to attack, so that when it comes into your areas you pick them off.

"If it's not there in your areas, you let them go or defend. That's as simple as George has got to keep it."

The right-handed Bailey enjoyed a superb stretch of form during the recent seven-match ODI series in India, scoring three half-tons and a century during a four-three loss.

"He has just come off an extraordinary series in India, where he was absolutely flying. He's totally on top of his game and full of confidence," added di Venuto.

"It has been well documented what he brings to the side as far as leadership, and he's just a very sound individual. He is a good player to have on your side and have around the group. But number one, he's in exceptional form and playing beautifully."

Former Canadian cricketer John Davison, meanwhile, will travel with Australia as a spin bowling mentor.

Davison, who played 32 ODIs and five Twenty20 Internationals between February 2003 and March 2011, is currently employed as Australia's National Cricket Centre spin coach – and has worked closely with the developing Nathan Lyon.

"In international cricket there are a lot of people with a lot of different opinions and that's something I've learned," Lyon said in England earlier this year.

"You have to figure out things for yourself, take on advice, and you might pick up something from someone who may not have played the game at the highest level. John has been fantastic for me, I've worked with him really well and I've got a lot of trust in him."

The first Test will get underway in Brisbane on 21 November. Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Melbourne will host matches two, three, four and five respectively.