ICC Champions Trophy: George Bailey admits England defeat was 'major cock-up'
Last Updated: 18/06/13 10:01pm
George Bailey: Admits Australia are low on confidence ahead of the Ashes
Australia stand-in skipper George Bailey admits confidence within the squad is low following their early elimination from the Champions Trophy.
The Australians were knocked out of the ODI competition at the group stages for the first time since 2000 on Monday evening after a 20-run defeat to Sri Lanka at the Oval.
Having already lost to England in their first Group A fixture, Australia then fell victim to the weather in their washed out draw with New Zealand.
Australia's failure to win a match in the competition means assurance is lacking ahead of the Ashes.
"You're probably right, there is probably not a great deal of confidence there," said Bailey.
Bailey reckons Australia were fighting a losing battle once they lost to England by 48 runs in their first group game.
"We said at the start that you need to start the competition well in order to get your confidence up so losing to England was a major cock-up," Bailey added.
"The weather then played its part unfortunately, that was a bit of bad luck because we posted a good score but that's part of the game I guess. There's not much more we could have done."
Skipper Michael Clarke looks set to hand Australia a much-needed boost by returning for their first pre-Ashes warm-up game against Somerset next week.
Clarke has missed all three of Australia's Champions Trophy games due to a back injury he suffered during his team's 4-0 defeat in India, but it looks like the skipper will be fit to play at Taunton in the first of two pre-Ashes warm-up games.
"I would imagine he would be fit for that game," said Bailey. "There was a real chance that (Clarke) would have been fit for the Sri Lanka game but with the circumstances of the game, he did not play."
Clarke has had to watch on from the sidelines as his team went through almost the worst possible preparation for the series against England.
Alastair Cook's men drew first blood in the battle between the two old enemies, defeating Australia by 48 runs in their Champions Trophy opener.
Last night's result means Sri Lanka will now play India on Thursday, 24 hours after England host South Africa at the Oval in the other semi-final.
Mahela Jayawardene's unbeaten 84 helped Sri Lanka post a score of 253, but for most of his innings he scored slowly - something Australia stumper Matthew Wade sledged the batsman for towards the end of his knock.
"It was nothing much, just a bit of banter," Jayawardene said afterwards. "He said something about the way I was batting in the last few overs and I told him not to worry because it was all part of the plan.
"I guess I had the last laugh."