BIRMINGHAM: Stand-in captain George Bailey urged Australia to remain true to themselves despite a defeat by England that dented their hopes of retaining the Champions Trophy.
In what could be the first of 26 Anglo-Australian clashes across all formats between now and February 2, England beat their archrivals by 48 runs to win Saturday’s Group A opener at Edgbaston. After restricting England to 269 for six, Australia batsmen adopted a more-than-steady approach and managed just 221 for nine.
However, Bailey urged his openers not to curb their attacking instincts. “The one thing I don’t want to see and the one thing we’re certainly pushing for is for guys not to change the way they play,” said Bailey. “I want to see David Warner crashing the ball everywhere. I want to see Shane Watson doing the same. And that’s the way we’ve got to keep playing.
“That is the challenge — to make sure that you stick to your own game plan and to find a way to make it work.”
Bailey, Australia Twenty20 captain, said they knew what was coming from England’s seam attack — they just weren’t able to do much about it. “There was nothing that they bowled that we weren’t expecting. They just executed very, very well.”
‘Clarke desperate to get back’
There were few crumbs of comfort for Australia fans hoping for Michael Clarke’s return in time for Australia’s next match against New Zealand.
“I know he’s desperate to get back,” said Bailey. “But chatting to him 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.”
As to whether Ashes-holders England had laid down a ‘marker’ ahead of next month’s first Test in Nottingham, Bailey said it was too soon to tell.
“It’s a huge rivalry. But it’s not a marker, or it might be, but we can only say that in hindsight, I reckon.”
Ian Bell was also keen to limit the context of the result, saying, “The important thing was to win, it doesn’t matter who we were playing.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2013.
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