BRISBANE - Frustrated Australian Twenty20 captain George Bailey understands why he will lead a depleted side against the West Indies in Brisbane tomorrow but fears it may compromise its World Cup countdown.
Bailey would have been forgiven for feeling like the last man standing in the T20 side as the 17-strong Australian squad assembled in India for its four-Test tour.
And his team for the one- off T20 international may be depleted further after Queensland batsman Joe Burns was called in yesterday as cover for Adam Voges (hamstring).
As a result, the finale for Australia's international summer of cricket resembles a fizzer.
"It's frustrating. No doubt Cricket Australia have prioritised the Test series - I don't blame them for that," Bailey said.
"But we've got seven or eight games until the T20 World Cup (in Bangladesh in 2014).
"It (preparation) does feel a little compromised."
And Bailey said if rumours of a change to the 2014 World Cup format were true, world No.7 Australia needed the best preparation available to get out of the "danger zone".
The number of teams have been expanded from 12 to 16 at the 2014 T20 World Cup but Bailey appeared anxious over how many automatically qualified.
"I have heard they are going to change the format ... there will be a certain amount who automatically qualify," he said.
"I have heard six and I have heard eight, and we are in that danger zone.
"So every game as a group is important ... in terms of trying to maintain some structure and continuity."
Ticket prices for tomorrow's T20 international ranged from $45 to $105 but Bailey baulked when asked if fans would be short changed.
"It is frustrating. I am sure they (fans) would like to see the best 11 available," he said.
"I don't think they will be short changed ... but will the best players be there? Not necessarily."
Burns is in line to make his international debut along with the likes of West Australian quick Nathan Coulter- Nile and New South Wales batsman Ben Rohrer after being placed on standby for Voges.
Voges twinged a hamstring during his match-winning 112 not out in Australia's 17-run ODI win over the Windies on Sunday night, completing a five-game sweep.
Bailey - who missed the ODI finale at the MCG - was confident he would overcome his own hamstring complaint.