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Bailey might rest ahead of T20 World Cup

By Chris Pike
16 February 2014 09:31PM EST

GEORGE Bailey might sit out Tasmania's next Sheffield Shield match to rest his hip ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup after spending good time in the middle at the WACA Ground.

Bailey continued to be a key contributor in Australia's one-day series win over England and then to lead the team in the Twenty20 internationals on the back of being part of the five-nil Ashes Test romp this summer despite battling through a hip flexor injury.

Following the Big Bash League final for the Hobart Hurricanes in Perth, Bailey remained in WA to gear up for the return to Shield cricket against WA at the WACA Ground and showed good form spending plenty of time in the middle during Tasmania's second innings.

Bailey put on a 136-run partnership in 322 balls with Ed Cowan in the Tigers' second innings before the skipper fell for 83 on day three before Tasmania ended up losing a tight battle by four wickets on Saturday.

While Bailey batted well and also managed to still field well despite the nagging hip complaint, he might now sit out Tasmania's Shield clash starting Thursday against Queensland at Bellerive.

That means that Bailey's domestic season could now be over with his focus to soon turn to getting Australia's team ready for the Twenty20 World Cup campaign in Bangladesh next month.

"I think that's going to be discussed in the next few days whether I have a week off before I go away or not," Bailey said.

"The hip would like a couple of days off, but it's hanging in there and I think I still batted all right, and moved OK in the field. It's hanging in there."

While ideally Bailey would have liked to reach three figures in Perth, to spend so much time at the crease was exactly what he was after and he continues to be happy with the way his batting is going.

"I felt nice out there. I felt as good as I've felt for a long time in Shield cricket so that was good but it would have been nice to convert that to bigger scores," he said.

"I guess it was a positive in terms of how I feel it's going, though, and I have felt really comfortable with everything I've been doing batting-wise.

"I just haven’t been getting runs and from a Tasmanian batting point of view that's what we have to get to the bottom of. It doesn’t matter how pretty it is, we just have to find a way to score hundreds."

The 31-year-old has had the summer of his life as his ride shows no signs of slowing down with the T20 World Cup to come followed by the Indian Premier League where he will be playing with the Kings XI Punjab after being picked up for A$577,000.

Bailey's summer began when he made his Test debut and stayed in the Australian team right throughout the incredible Ashes thumping of England.

While he's not in South Africa at the moment where Australia won the First Test at Centurion emphatically, Bailey understands why he's not there and is delighted to see the team do well particularly Tasmanian teammate Alex Doolan, but also Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith and Mitchell Johnson.

"I'm not disappointed at all because I don’t think I was aggrieved to not be there, but I'm thrilled for Dools and Shaun Marsh, and even Steve Smith it's great to see him continue to develop into almost our form batsmen at the moment," Bailey said.

"I'm pumped for everyone and even to see Mitchell Johnson continue his form makes for great cricket to watch. We've had some late nights here thinking you will just watch another 10 minutes and you find yourself still there an hour later.

"It's just great for the game and particularly for guys like Steve, SOS and Dools. I feel like if you can perform well against this South African side over there that it must give them such a great mindset for playing anywhere else in the world.

"For Dools, we couldn’t be more thrilled for him and he certainly looked the part with his three-day stubble as well."

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