THE future of Australian cricket is not as bleak as the 3-0 Ashes deficit suggests, according to Tasmanian and national Twenty20 captain George Bailey.
With critics queuing up to offer explanations for a third straight Ashes series loss, and Michael Clarke's men without a win in eight Tests, his ODI vice-captain insisted there was still plenty of ground for optimism.
Writing exclusively for The Examiner, Bailey said the public frustration over national team results should be kept in perspective.
``I am very fortunate to have a pretty good view of what's occurring in Australian cricket and I think it's a great opportunity to keep Australian cricket fans looking up,'' he said.
The former South Launceston batsman, who would be expected to be named in the Australian ODI team for matches against Scotland and England next month, listed a crop of promising youngsters knocking on the door of international selection.
``These guys, combined with the current squads who are working their butts off to play the best cricket they can, are striving to take Australia back to the top of cricket world rankings,'' he said.
``Our batting has been much maligned over the past year and the battle to replace and replicate players of the ilk of Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey is a challenging one.''
Bailey said his 21-year-old Tasmanian teammate Jordan Silk, highly-rated Queenslander Joe Burns, impressive NSW ball striker Nic Maddinson, Kurtis Patterson, Pete Handscomb and even 16-year-old Jake Doran were all potential international batsmen.
On the bowling front, Bailey said: ``The fact that James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner, Ashton Agar and Pat Cummins have all had a taste of international cricket _ with success _ has the capacity to hold us in great stead for many years.''
Preaching the message that the sky's the limit for Australian cricket, Bailey added: ``I know that not all of the above will become the stars we so desperately crave. But they all carry some, or all, of the traits that we look for in Australian representatives. And they warrant all the support we can muster as we climb back up the rankings.''