Hayden backs Bailey for Test Debut

Former Australia opener, Matthew Hayden, believes George Bailey has earned a place in the middle order for next month’s first Ashes Test against England.

The stand-in one-day skipper is enjoying an excellent series in India. He has scored 318 runs at an average of 106 in four matches.

Bailey’s runs will not have gone unnoticed by Australia cricket betting pundits, and, even though they have come in the shorter form of the game. He has three more matches to press his claims for a Test call-up.

Hayden said everything is coming so easily to the 31-year-old at the moment, a run of form which should see him rewarded with the number six spot at the Gabba on November 21.

“He’s accumulating runs really well. He’s striking the ball so well when he has to. For me he’s the in-form player right now. He’s the favourite (to bat at six). Technically he’s just looking really sound,” Hayden told AAP.

“All you can do is get runs. And if you get runs at international level it’s worth a whole lot more than any other level.”

Hayden also feels Bailey’s performances as captain will help his cause, saying he has “just got a good presence about him”.

Fans who bet on cricket will know that Australia need plenty of middle-order runs if they are to end a run of three successive Ashes defeats this summer. Collapses have been far too frequent since Ricky Pointing and Michael Hussey left the international scene.

While Bailey has not yet represented the Baggy Greens at Test level, he has been backed by Hayden to be the man to give Australia a solid presence.

“The way that he’s constructed his innings here as well doesn’t just isolate him to being a one-day cricketer,” added Hayden, who scored 8,625 runs in 103 Tests.

“An in-form Bailey could well be firming as a very good option at number six, in the Mike Hussey mould.”

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