India's exit from tri-series wasn't surprising: George Bailey
Australia stand-in captain George Bailey has said that India’s premature exit from the tri-series didn’t really surprise him, considering that their 4-match Test series with hosts Australia, which is also bound to have taken a toll on their body, came to an end only 3 weeks back. England, on the other hand, were involved in a 7-match ODI series with Sri Lanka just recently and have had the opportunity of playing a diet of 50-over cricket of late.
He expected the subcontinent giants to slowly build up to the World Cup, with their opening encounter of the marquee event against Pakistan on February 15 still being some time away.
"Not really. India would have been concentrating on Test cricket for a long amount of time whereas the English team have had a one-day build-up bit longer," he said.
"India know they have another couple of weeks in Australia before the World Cup and they will just be building up their preparations."
Talking about the final against arch-rivals England on Sunday, Bailey noted: "England are a very dangerous side because they don't rely too heavily on any one player. They look pretty well balanced. They look like they have clear game plans, a good pace attack and they bat deep.
"I guess we saw that from their losing early wickets and still being able to post a good total, which they did against us too in Sydney. They have got a really good mix at the moment," he added.
‘Clarke’s return a great sign’
Regular Australian skipper Michael Clarke, meanwhile, is on track to meet his deadline of playing their second World Cup game against Bangladesh on February 21 after having scored a fifty for his grade side in Sydney today.
"It is a great sign. As far as I know it puts him well ahead of the schedule. He will be really happy,” the 32-year-old said.
“More importantly than the runs he scored I think he batted for close on three hours so for him to be able to sustain that physical activity for that long is great for him and really important for us in terms of having him back and leading the side when he is fit and healthy."