Champions Trophy: George Bailey says Australia batsmen need to improve quickly

Last Updated: 08/06/13 9:14pm

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Captain George Bailey admits Australia's batsmen have to improve fast if they are to be competitive in the Champions Trophy.

In the opening exchange of the summer between the two old rivals, Australia bowled well but their batsmen flopped badly.

After restricting England to 269-6 in the hosts' innings, Australia looked very much in the game.

But the opening spells from James Anderson and Stuart Broad left them well behind on the scoring rate and they never looked likely to threaten, finishing on 221-9, 48 runs adrift.

Bailey himself top-scored with 55 but Australia were indebted to a fine 54no off 42 balls by all-rounder James Faulkner for getting as close as they did.

Bailey was pleased to see his bowlers fight back to limit England to 269, though.

"From around 170 for one with about 15, 16 overs to go I think we did a really good job to pull it back, it looked a fantastic batting wicket," he said.

"I think the scoreline at the end probably flattered us a little bit but it was really the batting that let us down."

Confidence

The poor batting performance came on the back of Tuesday's calamity when Australia were bowled out for just 65 in their final warm-up game against India.

Bailey now hopes his side can now turn things around in their next Group A outing against New Zealand on Wednesday.

He said: "We have to. It doesn't look great but I think it's only really a small thing, only a bit of confidence and one partnership at the top order scoring us some runs."

Bailey was captain in the absence of Michael Clarke, on the sidelines because of a back injury.

"I know he's desperate to get back," said Bailey. "But chatting to him yesterday he felt like progress has been pretty slow.

"I know all the talk is 'save yourself for the Ashes', but every time I talk to him he's desperate to get out here, get some training under his belt and then play.

"But it really is a day-by-day scenario and I haven't heard if he's made any progress today."

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