News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

George Bailey lashes out at Channel Nine criticism

Sydney: Australia’s acting captain George Bailey has lambasted Channel Nine for claiming he will lead a second-string one-day international team against Sri Lanka, and accused the Nine Network of talking them down as a TV rights strategy.

However, the team Bailey announced on Thursday to play in Friday`s series-opener at the MCG does little to support his case, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. With star batsmen Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, David Warner and dumped veteran Mike Hussey all missing, the Australian top three will all be ODI debutants in Aaron Finch, Phil Hughes and Usman Khawaja, it further reported.

With Bailey, batting at No.4, boasting just 13 previous ODIs himself and four-game all rounder Glenn Maxwell at No.6, the only batsmen of notable experience are David Hussey and recalled wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, the paper said.

But Bailey said while it was a team picked with an eye to this year`s India and Ashes tours and the 2015 World Cup, they all deserved selection, it further added. Bailey said he was confident the rookies in the team would perform well and guide Australia to victory in the ODI series.

The Nine Network has made clear its displeasure that fan favourites such as Warner and Mike Hussey will be missing, but Bailey suggested the broadcaster had ulterior motives, branding their move as a tactical move.