TASMANIAN Tigers coach Dan Marsh says he is planning for lengthy spells without his captain after George Bailey further cemented his spot in the Australian one-day team with another big innings yesterday.
Bailey celebrated his 31st birthday by smashing 82 off 67 balls in Australia's 88-run defeat of England in Manchester, further increasing the former South Launceston batsman's impressive international credentials.
Already 14th in the ICC ODI rankings, Bailey has amassed nearly 1000 runs since making his debut in the format 18 months ago.
An overall average of 46.19 rises to 75.00 in the eight matches since the beginning of the West Indies series in February.
His display at Old Trafford included four of Australia's seven sixes in a fourth-wicket stand of 155 with captain and man-of-the-match Michael Clarke (105).
The result sees Australia leading the five-match series and Marsh anticipating plenty more absences for his Launceston Church Grammar products Bailey and James Faulkner, who also hit a quickfire 18 and continued his run of international wicket-taking.
``If they're here it's a bonus, but if they're away then that's great as well,'' Marsh said.
``I thought George's batting was fantastic. He really took them on, showed he's in good nick and continues to impress at that level.
``He's averaging 45 in one-day cricket for Australia and doing a great job every time he walks out. He's going to be hard to get out of that team.
vp+2``There may have been a few doubters at first but off his own bat he's turned many people around.''
Faulkner continued his own impressive stats with a 12th consecutive wicket-taking bowling spell for Australia, clean bowling Ashes century-maker Joe Root with his second ball.
Since an unsuccessful three-over spell against New Zealand in the Champions Trophy, the 23-year-old has taken wickets in all five tour match innings, claimed 4-51 and 2-47 on his Test debut and continued the trend in Twenty20s and ODIs.