Bailey targets another England whitewash

Hampshire Chronicle: Bailey targets another England whitewash Bailey targets another England whitewash

Stand-in Australia captain George Bailey wants to be the man who condemns England to a record-equalling 10th consecutive loss.

England will match their longest ever losing sequence if they fail to break their tour duck against Australia in the fourth one-day international in Perth on Friday.

Former Hampshire batsman Bailey has overcome a hip injury to skipper an understrength Australia team and, when asked if extending England's misery to record levels would be enjoyable, he said: "Yeah it would.

"That's why we're talking about it. Not that you need any extra motivation to try to win a game.

"We're all desperate to be out there and winning every game we play.

"But any time you have an opportunity to write history, that's pretty special as a team."

Bailey concedes, however, that Friday's match is England's best chance of the winter to secure their maiden win.

Australia, who took over as the world's top-ranked ODI nation on Wednesday, have rested skipper Michael Clarke, David Warner, Brad Haddin and Shane Watson for the match.

"It probably is their best chance," he said.

"But having said that, I reckon our team is still pretty good.

"I'm not that fussed about what England think or how they're going."

Australia were still able to call-up three Ashes winners when they named their starting XI a day early, for the second time in the series.

Mitchell Johnson, Steve Smith and Bailey will return alongside wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, in a match in which victory would also equal Australia's longest winning run against England.

"We're in a pretty positive position," Bailey said.

"If we win tomorrow it would be 10 straight games against England. That equals a record."

Bailey rubbished suggestions Australia's selection revealed a sense of complacency, with some claims the XI was in effect a back-up team.

"It's been a hell of a summer and we won't be coming nonchalant or complacent about what is ahead of us," he said.

"There's still huge opportunities for us.

"If you ask any of the players, I don't think they would feel like it's an 'A' side."

Australia moved to the top of the ODI rankings on the back of their 3-0 series lead and after India lost in New Zealand on Wednesday.

"It's a bit funny when it (going top of the world) comes from the other side of the world and in the middle of the series," Bailey said.

"But it's a nice reward for having played some really good one-day cricket over the past 12 months.

"I still think we're not playing as well as what we would have liked. But it's a good indication of how good we have been in patches."

Australia revealed on Thursday that Shane Warne has accepted an offer to coach the national team's spinners in preparation for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Warne, 44, will join up with the Australia team for their three Twenty20s in South Africa in early March.

That series is set to act as a final preparation before the team flies out to the sub-continent for the World Twenty20.

"I'm excited to be working with Australia's spinners in South Africa," Warne said in a statement.

"I'm looking forward to helping them with some intense bowling preparation ahead of the World Twenty 20, where we'll specifically work on tactics and mindset."

Coach Darren Lehmann has regularly sought former Australia players out to work with his squad since taking over in June.

Warne spoke with Australia's spinners during the summer's Ashes series in Manchester, while former right-armer Graham McKenzie helped lead Thursday's training session.

"We believe our national teams can really benefit from more specific skill-based coaching as and when it is needed," Lehmann said.

"This will mean that from time to time we will enlist the support of experts in their craft to work with our players and share their experiences.

"In the case of the ICC World Twenty 20, we believe spin bowling will be critical to success. There's no better person than Shane to help guide the spinners we select in that squad.

"He was a gifted cricketer and remains passionate about spin bowling and seeing our players be the best that they can be. We're thrilled to have him on board."

Bailey welcomed Warne's appointment, adding: "I'm thrilled to have him on board as a spin coach, but I think he brings so much more to the table.

"He'd be one of the leading thinkers on T20 in the world, tactically.

"He's highly respected by the group. I think it's a great appointment."

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