George Bailey (above) is surprised at Michael Clarke's inclusion in the final ODI against England at Adelaide © Getty Images
George Bailey (above) is surprised at Michael Clarke’s inclusion in the final ODI against England at Adelaide © Getty Images

 

Jan 25, 2014

 

Australia’s George Bailey has come out in support of his team’s decision to rest a clutch of key players in the final two One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against England and was also surprised at skipper Michael Clarke’s inclusion for the final game at Adelaide.

 

“I’m surprised that Pup [Clarke] is actually coming back after just missing one. I thought he might miss two. Don’t get me wrong, you want to win every game you play. But given how crammed the schedule is, if you do get an opportunity to rest a few of the guys, you take the opportunity,” said Bailey who was happy to hand over the captaincy to Clarke and also maintained that the decision to rest important players was for the good of the team as a whole.

 

“I don’t think any of the players have got an issue with the fact those guys had earned a rest. There’s some huge series coming up, particularly that Test series in South Africa,” said Bailey as reported by Sydney Morning Herald.

 

The main players rested were Clarke, Shane Watson, Brad Haddin and David Warner, during the fourth ODI at Perth, which also saw England registering their first win on the tour by 57 runs.

 

Though Clarke and Watson are set to play the fifth ODI, Warner and Haddin are still going to be rested keeping next month’s South Africa tour in mind.

 

Apart from the above mentioned players, fast-bowler Mitchell Johnson is also being rested to prep him up for the South Africa series. Australia have already clinched the series 3-1 and the final ODI remains of academic interest for both players and spectators.

 

England had put up a challenging total of 316 and they dismissed Australia for 259 despite a magnificent 108 from Aaron Finch.

 

The win must have brought a sigh of relief to England skipper Alastair Cook’s face after his side had lost almost all games on the ongoing tour previously.

 

I don’t think any of the players have got an issue with the fact those guys had earned a rest. There’s some huge series coming up, particularly that Test series in South Africa

 

“With what I’ve learned over the past three years, it would be wrong to change so close to a World Cup. During the last four or five days, I have done quite a lot of talking to the guys,” said Cook who had hinted at relinquishing the ODI captaincy after the huge losses but is now determined to lead his side in the 2015 ICC World Cup.

 

“Sometimes you do need a bit of reassurance when you’ve lost a lot of games on a tour. When you chat to some guys you trust and respect, and find out what they’re thinking, it gives you the confidence [to go on],” added Cook.

 

Cook was full of praise for all rounder Ben Stokes, who scored 70 and also picked up a four-wicket haul to earn the Man-of-the-Match. Stokes has also previously done well at the WACA after he had scored his maiden Test century at the ground in December.