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Bailey is T20 captain, but Brad hogs limelight

Brad Hogg

Calcutta: By virtue of their brilliant performances in domestic cricket and the Big Bash League, George Bailey and Brad Hogg were both picked in the 14-member Australia Twenty20 squad for the two matches against India next month.

While Bailey was named as the new T20 captain, replacing a struggling Cameron White, Hogg will make a return to the Australian team almost four years after announcing his retirement from international cricket.

Hogg, who turns 41 next month, last played for his country in March 2008.

Hogg in fact had taken over over from Andy Bichel as the coach of Papua New Guinea late last year. But after earning a surprise national recall, Hogg will happily shelve his coaching plans.

National chairman of selectors John Inverarity said that Bailey’s success as Tasmania captain played a big part in the decision to name the 29-year old as skipper.

“The national selection panel unanimously favoured George Bailey as captain of the T20 team. George is a very good T20 player with a sound record. He is widely respected and regarded as an outstanding captain, having had sustained success in this role.

“The role of the captain is especially important in fast moving T20 cricket. Meticulous preparation then needs to be accompanied by cool split-second decision making throughout the 120 events when the team is on the field. A captain can have a most significant impact on a game even if he does not bowl or get to the crease.

“The selection panel is looking to the new leadership of Mickey Arthur, Bailey and David Warner to drive a focused, disciplined and fiercely determined culture in this team.”

Defending Hogg’s selection, Inverarity said: “Brett Lee and Brad Hogg are the veterans in the team and provide a pleasing blend of experience with the youth in the squad. Hogg’s bowling has been outstanding and his case for inclusion was compelling. He has had a real impact in the Big Bash League in recent weeks.”

Hogg had announced his international retirement in 2008 but he had been impressive in the Big Bash League, taking 12 wickets in eight matches.The two T20 matches against India will be played in Sydney and Melbourne on February 1 and 3 respectively.