Gilchrist: Bailey can solidify Test batting

Australia

Australia batting legend Adam Gilchrist has backed current ODI skipper George Bailey to claim a Test spot for the Ashes, and provide a solid presence in the somewhat unstable middle order.

Australia batting legend Adam Gilchrist has backed current ODI skipper George Bailey to claim a Test spot for the Ashes, and provide a solid presence in the somewhat unstable middle order.

Bailey, usually only the T20 skipper when Michael Clarke is fit, skippered Australia in a high-scoring ODI series against India, and racked up scores of 85, 92*, 43, 92 and 156 to become the highest scoring skipper in an ODI series.

Gilchrist, and many others, feel Bailey is ripe for his first Test cap, given the Baggy Green's woes in the middle order, and thinks the Tasmania batsman's calm temperament and leadership skills will benefit the side during the Ashes.

The former opener said: "The great thing about George is, if you bring other aspects to the team – like leadership qualities, your attitude, approach and commitment to a team environment – you are a much more attractive package.

"George certainly provides all of that. It seems he is highly regarded among his peers and is an intelligent guy who understands the value of team."

The former wicketkeeper went on to say that he thought Australian batsmen had improved in recent months and there were enough players in good form to provide a consistent selection during the Ashes.

Gilchrist added: There are encouraging signs at the moment. The real handbrake on our team over the past two years has been consistent run-scoring.

"We're seeing runs around the country in the Ryobi Cup, over in England and now first-class cricket is under way. It seems the selectors are giving indicators they want to go for consistency and stability.

"I suspect the guys picked in the first Test will have a good run at it."

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