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Australia v England 4th ODI; George Bailey defends decision to rest stars for Perth defeat

Australia captain George Bailey has blamed a poor bowling performance for their loss against England in the fourth ODI.

George Bailey: Captained Australia to their first tour defeat against England

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Stand-in Australia captain George Bailey admitted the absence of four key players had made a difference to the outcome of Friday's fourth one-day international against England.

Regular captain Michael Clarke, David Warner, Shane Watson and Brad Haddin were rested as Australia lost their first match of the tour by 57 runs at the WACA.

Bailey believes that was an understandable move - Clarke and Watson are due to return for the series-finale in Adelaide on Sunday - despite the prospect of a double-whitewash being ended.

Alastair Cook has praised the performance of Ben Stokes as England beat Australia in the fourth ODI.

"It does make a difference. (But) there's some huge series coming up especially a Test series in South Africa," he said.

"I don't think any players have an issue that those guys had earned a rest.

"I'm surprised that Pup (Clarke) is coming back after missing just the one as far as the job being done winning the series.

"You want to win every game but given how crammed the schedule is, if you do get the opportunity to rest guys you take it."


Explosive opening batsman Aaron Finch enhanced his burgeoning one-day reputation with a second century of the series, but his innings of 108 proved futile as Australia were dismissed for 259 in pursuit of their 317-run target.

Finch, who hit eight fours and four sixes, brought up his third ODI century from 97 balls before steering Tim Bresnan to third man during the power play.

The 22-year-old admitted to feeling a strong sense of responsibility after fellow top-order batsmen Shaun Marsh (15) and Matthew Wade (23) fell cheaply.

"It's always tough any time you're chasing 300 and everything has to go right. Unfortunately it didn't," he said.

"We just kept losing wickets along the way so I felt it was my responsibility to try to build partnerships with the guy coming in.

"To get out like that was pretty disappointing as I felt I was in a position to bat through and be that responsible player to get us home. But it wasn't to be."

Finch found time to praise England's attack, adding: "They bowled hard, they bowled straight, they used the long boundaries and the wind to their advantage and all credit to them.

"I thought their plans with the ball were pretty good."