Bailey on track for Test debut at Ashes opener
AUSTRALIAN one-day captain George Bailey is in a rich vein of form with the bat, one that could propel him to his Test debut in the Ashes series opener at the Gabba later this month.
Bailey scored 478 runs at an average of 95.6 against India and he'll be hoping to further enhance his claim to bat at No.6 against England with another mountain of runs for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield clash against Queensland, starting at Brisbane's Allan Border Field tomorrow.
But, while Bailey may be in career-best form in the one-day arena, his performances in the Shield last season were far from impressive, averaging just 18.
If he is to start improving on that tomorrow, he'll have to contend with a bowler in form - Queensland leg-spinner Cameron Boyce.
Boyce started the Shield season with a man-of-the-match eight-wicket haul against South Australia in Adelaide, including 7-68 in the Redbacks' second innings - the best figures returned by Queensland leg-spinner since Brian Fynn's 8-148 in 1953-54.
Boyce, who has taken 48 wickets at 41.69 in 24 Shield games, told APN he'd love to add Bailey's scalp to his tally.
"I am sure everyone in our bowling unit would love to knock him over given the way he's been batting," Boyce said.
"I've been watching the games over there (India) and have enjoyed watching him bat, but it's all about getting him out cheaply tomorrow."
And Boyce knows that won't be easy at the venue.
"The wicket is usually flat, so there won't be anything like the turn and bounce I got in Adelaide - that's a real shame," he said with a laugh.
There are two changes to the Queensland line-up from the side that won first-innings points in the opener.
Batsman Usman Khawaja and all-rounder Ben Cutting are away on Australian A duty and have been replaced by Chris Lynn, who scored 104 and 61 not out against England for the WA XI, and paceman Cameron Gannon.
Captain James Hopes is also back after missing the Adelaide match after a stomach virus went through the squad.
Boyce didn't cop it like Ryan Harris, Peter Forrest, Chris Hartley, Greg Moller and Cutting during the game, but he wasn't spared.
"I really felt crook on the flight back. I was just glad to make it back home," he said.
QLD SQUAD: James Hopes (c), Cameron Boyce, Joe Burns, Luke Feldman, Peter Forrest, Cameron Gannon, Ryan Harris, Chris Hartley, Nathan Hauritz, Chris Lynn, Greg Moller, Nathan Reardon (12th man to be named).