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By Gaurav Joshi
Mirpur: Mar 22, 2014
Australia are unlikely to play young leg-spinner James Muirhead in their ICC World T20 2014 opener against Pakistan. This is despite the Pakistani batsmen showing vulnerability against Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra in their loss in the opening Group 2 match on Friday.
Although captain George Bailey stated the Australian final XI was almost locked in, he wanted to keep his cards close to his chest about Muirhead’s inclusion.
“I’m not too sure to be honest we are starting to get close to a team but I guess we would keep that [Muirhead’s selection] close to ourselves,” Bailey said.
From the training session, the young Victorian did not accompany the team’s primary spinner, Brad Hogg in the centre wicket practise as coach Darren Lehmann watched with key interest.
It is a wise move given Hodge’s experience in the local Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). Bailey admitted that Hodge has played a vital role in team meetings discussing all aspects of the game.
“Hodgey has been great for us. We have received a lot of information not only on what we were going to expect but how the wicket might play and how the grounds change from day to night and also on the players that we have not seen, so he has been really good,” concluded Bailey.
Bailey also confirmed James Faulkner would miss out meaning Australia can either play a like to like swap with Dan Christian or elect to go with Doug Bollinger.
(Gaurav Joshi is an Indian-born Australian who played with Michael Clarke in his junior days. He coaches and reports for a Sydney radio station. Over the years he has freelanced for Australia Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and is a regular on ABC cricket show Cow Corner. He is the author of the book “Teen Thunder Down Under” – The inside story of India’s 2012 U19 World Cup Triumph)
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