Cricket - Bailey has World-Cup fears for Australia

Captain George Bailey fears Australia could miss out on next year's World Twenty20 as he prepares to lead an under-strength squad in a one-off match against West Indies on Wednesday.

PA Sport
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George Bailey of Australia

With the majority of Australia's first-choice players having already flown out to India for the upcoming Test series, Bailey has been left with a cast of novices to meet the world champions at the 'Gabba.

There are suggestions only six nations will automatically qualify for the global tournament in Bangladesh and, with Australia currently ranked seventh, Bailey sees reason for concern. "It's frustrating. No doubt Cricket Australia have prioritised the Test series and I don't blame them for that," he told reporters.

He added: "From my point of view we have seven or eight games until the next T20 World Cup. It does feel a little compromised on that front that we have seven or eight of our players left out.

"I have heard they are going to change the format (for the World Twenty20) - there will be a certain amount who automatically qualify. I have heard six and I have heard eight, and we are in that danger zone. So every game as a group is important - in terms of trying to maintain some structure and continuity."

Ben Rohrer, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Joe Burns and Josh Hazlewood could all make their Twenty20 debuts while, Australia have also called upon some form players from the recent Big Bash League in Shaun Marsh, Aaron Finch and James Faulkner.

Adam Voges, who made a match-winning unbeaten 112 to seal a one-day whitewash against West Indies earlier this week, is a doubt with a hamstring problem. West Indies thrashed Australia in their last meeting - the semi-final of 2012's World T20 as they went on to be crowned champions in Sri Lanka - but could be without star batsman Chris Gayle.

Gayle has not played since suffering a side injury during the third ODI although the left-hander has endured a barren recent run in Australia, including during the Big Bash League. However, skipper Darren Sammy has called on his side to end an otherwise miserable tour on a high.

"We are the world champions and we want to showcase our skills and show the people of Australia what we have," Sammy said. "The last time we played against Australia in this format we completely outplayed them so that is the kind of motivation we will carry into the match.

"The people over here in Australia have been very supportive of us and we have not demonstrated our very best cricket for them to see, so we want to give them something special before we head back home."

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