Australia axe Bailey from Test side for South Africa tour

Australia axe Bailey from Test side for South Africa tour

Australia's cricket selectors Monday dropped George Bailey from the 15-member Test squad for next month's tour of South Africa.

Tasmanian batsman Alex Doolan and Shaun Marsh, who returns to the team after a two-year absence, have been added to the squad. Pace bowlers James Pattinson and Jackson Bird have also joined the side.

National selector John Inverarity said dropping Bailey was a difficult decision.

"We have selected Alex Doolan and Shaun Marsh as two of seven batsmen in the squad. George Bailey, who played an important role in the Test team that defeated England 5-0, has been overlooked for this tour. This was a difficult decision but on this occasion we felt Alex and Shaun have games that are well suited to facing South Africa in South Africa," said Inverarity.

"We consider that both are strong players of pace bowling which is important given the strength of South Africa's attack. Alex was on standby for the recent fifth Test in Sydney and scored a most impressive 165 not out against South Africa for Australia A last season," he added.

Inverarity said Shaun is a talented batsman who is striking the ball very well at the moment. 

"He has the technique and potential to do well. On this occasion these two batsmen were preferred to Phillip Hughes who we feel is best suited to a top order position. Phillip remains a highly regarded batsman whose time will come.

"James Pattinson is regaining fitness and form. At his best he is a fine Test match bowler. Jackson Bird shaded out Nathan Coulter-Nile for the final bowling position and each of these bowlers is showing encouraging form," he said.

The majority of the squad will depart Jan 29 with the exception of  James Faulkner who will remain behind to play in the T20 Series and join the team during the warm-up game in Potchefstroom.

Test squad: Michael Clarke(captain), Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, James Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, David Warner and Shane Watson

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