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We couldn't build any momentum: Bailey

Australian captain felt lack of partnerships upfront dented their chances.

We couldn't build any momentum: Bailey - Cricket News
Australia skipper George Bailey talks to the media.
Did you think that was probably a gettable target that you restricted them to? 
Yeah, I was pretty happy at the halfway mark, particularly at 170 for one with 15 overs to go, I would have taken 270. I still think I would have. It was a good cricket wicket; I think they bowled very, very well.  It made it hard for us to get any momentum with the bat.  But that's a lack of partnerships, probably, but I think 270 was certainly gettable on that.

That was the major problem?  It seemed almost from the start that Watson and Hughes couldn't get going; is it because the bowling was so good, or is there just a bit of form problem in that batting lineup at the moment? 
It could have been a bit of both. I think they bowled very, very well. I think if Watto's was going to get anything loose, he would have scored. I think he's in great touch at the moment, if he was going to get anything loose, he would have put it away.  I think that hard field to Hughes made it hard for him to score, and we saw pretty quickly that the pace started to come off the ball in that second innings, which made it harder to score as well.  But I certainly think they bowled well.  But the challenge in one-day cricket is the way to find a way to score to get some momentum going while at the same time trying to build a partnership, and that was the one thing lacking. 
 
It was flattering in the end to only lose by 50 runs away.  It was probably more like 60 or 70-runs loss.  But that's one partnership, one partnership away from your top-order.  One guy in your top five getting 100, and that's probably the difference.

Given the niche of this tournament, is it going to be hard for your batsmen to get a bit of momentum now? 
Well, we'll bat well in the next game or we won't, and that will be the answer.  International cricket, that's just how you've got to respond.  It's a bear game.  The one thing I don't want to see and the one thing we're certainly pushing for is for guys not to change the way they play.  I want to see David Warner going after balls.  I want to see him crashing the ball everywhere.
 
I want to see Watto doing the same thing. And that is the way we've got to keep playing.  That's why we've picked guys, and that is the challenge, while all that other stuff is going on around you, to make sure that you stick to your own game plan and to find a way to make it work. 

 Was there a confidence problem at all with the batting today? 
 Well, that's a hard one to answer because I can't speak for everyone personally, but it certainly looked like we were stuck a little bit in between.  Do we challenge them and try to take something and maybe make something happen, or do we just wait for them to bowl bad balls?  And England I don't think bowled many bad balls today. I'm trying to think of a drive that we missed, or they started reversing the balls.  So you tend to think we'll get a couple on the ball or we'll get a cut if they go the other way, but there wasn't much.  I think they were very, very disciplined, and it made it hard for us.
 
But the one thing we kept talking about particularly with a score like 270, 260 is if you can get that partnership going, you can get 90, 80 runs pretty easily in the last 10 overs, it's just a matter of having some wickets in the hands so at some stage you can put some pressure back on the bowlers.

Is it fair insight I suppose from England with their bowling what Australia can expect now for the next few months? 
Absolutely, yep, and they're a very experienced bowling line-up.  So there is no one there we haven't seen before, and there was nothing that they bowled today that we weren't expecting.  They just executed very, very well, exploited the conditions, exploited the wearing nature of the pitch, which probably wore a little more than we thought it was going to.  So that is something that we have to think about going forward as well. 

Were you surprised how quickly England was reversing the ball? 
Very, yeah, it was good skill that.  What I sort of felt like it went from swinging conventionally to swinging reverse within an over or two.  No doubt they've worked on it a little bit.  We saw they bowled some cross seams and maybe bowling a little bit of spin early plays a part in that as well.  I think they're hardly schooled at it, but it's something that I think we need to look at and try and exploit if that's going to be the condition, because it just made their bowling plan so simple for the quick ones.  Once they started reversing they could hit a good length throughout the entire innings.

Obviously, Michael Clarke is a big loss.  What is your understanding of when you might expect to see him back? 
He's planning for the New Zealand game.  Chatting to him yesterday he felt like the progress had been pretty slow.  Ideally, we win this game and that gives him a little bit of buffer, a few extra days.  But I know he's desperate to get back.  I know the talk is to save yourself for the Ashes and what not, but every time I checked with him, he's desperate to get here and to get some training under his belt first and then to be out of play.  But it really is a daybyday scenario.  So I haven't heard how he's gone today or if he's made any progress today.

George, Shane was involved in seven overs today and looked pretty strong.  How do you find that balance now between he adds so much when he does bowl on the team instead of overdoing it with so much cricket to come and his injury problems in the past? 
Yeah, we monitor that pretty closely.  And honestly, he could have given us 10 today.  I think we looked after him pretty well in the practice games, and it's just about being smart, about when we use him and how often we use him and all those sorts of things.  To be honest, I think when you've got someone like Wato that is so important to our side and you see how much he adds to the side, you have to be guided by him a little bit. 
 
If he feels like he can bowl 10, then you give him his 10 or you have that space to give him 10.  But if he feels like he's at a stage where he can only bowl five, I think you've got to respect that as well. 

James Faulkner today was the shining light.  George, he continues to establish himself and show what he can do?
He does, yeah, very impressive cricketer.  It's been really big 12 months for him, really.  As I said downstairs, I just think that the great trait is any time you're challenged to go to a level that people haven't seen before, he just seems to find something.  It's not always pretty, but it's effective, and there is a lesson in that, I reckon, for a lot of cricketers and something that this cricket side can take out. 
 
How good was Jimmy today bearing in mind he wasn't moving that much sideways? 
It must have looked different.  I thought it was moving sideways a little bit when he bowled through the middle.  Yeah, he's so skillful.  He's got the record he's got because of the skills he has.  As I said, the fact that he started reversing it, yep, no issues with that.  We were expecting that. But for them to not give you anything on the pads or not give you a cut or just to be so accurate was testament to the bowler he is and how important he is to England's team. 

First of a long series of matches between the two sides.  There was talk about the possibility of putting down a marker.  Is there any relevance to the rest of the bigger picture from this result? 
No, none, obviously, yeah.  I don't know.  28 games or something, if the first one-dayer has any bearing, yeah, you want to win every game.  It's England versus Australia.  It's a huge rivalry.  Every game means something.  But it's not a marker, or it might be, but we can only say that in hindsight, I reckon.

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