George Bailey fears Australia may struggle to qualify for World Twenty20
Last Updated: February 12, 2013 4:27pm
George Bailey fears that Australia could miss out on automatic qualification for next year's ICC World Twenty20.
The Twenty20 captain has been left with an inexperienced line-up to face the West Indies in Brisbane on Wednesday as most of their first-choice players are already in India for the forthcoming Test series.
"It does feel a little compromised on that front that we have seven or eight of our players left out."
Ben Rohrer, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Joe Burns and Josh Hazlewood are in line to make their Twenty20 debuts, while Clint McKay and Ben Laughlin are the leading wicket-takers in the squad with just two scalps each.
It has been reported that only six nations will automatically qualify for the tournament in Bangladesh, and Bailey is concerned Australia will struggle to improve on their current ranking of seventh.
"It's frustrating. No doubt Cricket Australia have prioritised the Test series and I don't blame them for that," he said. "From my point of view we have seven or eight games until the next T20 World Cup.
"It does feel a little compromised on that front that we have seven or eight of our players left out.
"I have heard they are going to change the format (for the World Twenty20) - there will be a certain amount who automatically qualify. I have heard six and I have heard eight, and we are in that danger zone.
"So every game as a group is important - in terms of trying to maintain some structure and continuity. It is a really difficult one."
Australia can at least call on Twenty20 specialists Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch and James Faulkner, though Adam Voges - who hit a century in the fifth and final one-dayer on Sunday - is a doubt due to a hamstring problem.
West Indies, meanwhile, are waiting to see if Chris Gayle will be fit to feature; the opener has not played since suffering a side injury during the third ODI.
Visiting skipper Darren Sammy hopes his side, with or without Gayle, can find the kind of form in the shortest format that saw them triumph in the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka last year.
"We have to come and play like true champions. We are the world champions and we want to showcase our skills and show the people of Australia what we have," Sammy said.
"We did the job very well in Sri Lanka last year. The last time we played against Australia in this format we completely outplayed them so that is the kind of motivation we will carry into the match.
"The people over here in Australia have been very supportive of us and we have not demonstrated our very best cricket for them to see, so we want to give them something special before we head back home."