“That’s a headache. It’s a great headache”: George Bailey talks about bowling selections ahead of Ashes 2021-22 Sydney test

Rishikesh Sharma
|Published 30/12/2021

Ashes 2021-22: George Bailey has talked about the selection headache ahead of the Sydney Test in the bowling department.

Australia have wrapped up the Ashes 2021-22 by winning the Boxing Day test in Melbourne. However, they still can’t take the remaining two games lightly. The Ashes is decided, but the 24 points of the World Test Championship are still to play for. Australia would want to take all 60 points from the series.

However, ahead of the test match in Sydney, they have some selection headaches in bowling. Jhye Richardson and Scott Boland have taken fifers, whereas Michael Neser also bowled well in the Adelaide Test. Josh Hazelwood, who has missed the last two tests due to side strain is also in contention. Hazlewood bowled in the MCG nets for around 30 minutes, but he still had some discomfort.

There has been a talk in Australia that Hazlewood should be given time as the series is already decided. But George Bailey has confirmed that Hazlewood will not be held back if he is fit to play.

“I’ve got pretty good faith in Hoff knowing his own body and trusting his own body,” Bailey said

“If Hoff’s confident and he says he’s right to go I think we back him in. He’s earned that trust.”

Ashes 2021-22: George Bailey opens up on selection headache for Sydney Test

George Bailey has also confirmed that Mitchell Starc will not be rested for the Sydney test. He is the only pacer to have played all three games, but he bowled very little at the MCG. Bailey said that the bowlers got enough rest after the MCG test as the game was finished in 2.5 days. Pat Cummins is also a sure starter for the Sydney test.

Scott Boland won the MOTM in Melbourne, whereas Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser are also on the list. However, the prospect of playing Mitchell Swepson alongside Nathan Lyon is also there due to Sydney’s wicket. The wicket at the SCG is the driest wicket of Australia, and the spinners play a big role here. Bailey has called this a good headache to have in the camp.

“That’s a headache. It’s a great headache,” Bailey said with a smile.

“We’ve got no doubt that, whether it’s at the SCG or whether it’s sometime in the future, that Swepo is ready.”

“We’d love nothing more for him to get an opportunity but it will probably be conditions-dependent.”

The 4th test at the SCG will start from 5 January 2022.


About the author
Rishikesh Sharma

Rishikesh Sharma

An engineering graduate and an ardent Sports fan. Rishikesh Sharma is writing about cricket for 3 years now as corporate life didn't suit him. Sourav Ganguly made him fall in love with the game, and players like Brendon McCullum and Gautam Gambhir enhanced it. Apart from cricket, Rishikesh is a huge fan of Liverpool FC. When not watching sports, you will find him riding around Jaipur.

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