T20 captain Bailey tips rookie Doolan to replace Ponting in Oz Test squad
Australia Twenty20 and Tasmania captain George Bailey believes rookie Alex Doolan is a worthy candidate to replace Ricky Ponting in the Test team.
While Phil Hughes is the slight favorite to fill the shoes of retiring Ricky Ponting for the Test series against Sri Lanka but Tasmania's emerging Doolan is snapping strongly at his heels in a field that also includes the gifted but mysteriously out of favour Usman Khawaja.
Doolan, who like Ponting hails from Launceston, is the bolter who came firmly into view when he made 161 not out for Australia A against South Africa in Sydney, including half of his runs scored when the tourists were fully switched on before later turning to part-timers.
Doolan has not done a lot since that innings but it was preceded by innings of 95 and 60 not and 149.
Doolan is being watched closely by the panel and could easily play Test cricket this summer.
The son of a former Tasmanian wicket-keeper, Doolan has been highly rated in his home state for several years and was handed the important role of batting number three in recent seasons.
Bailey noted at the time that Doolan lost nothing in comparison to Ricky Ponting when they batted together.
"When those two were going together he didn't look outclassed; when I was batting with Ricky it felt like we were playing two different sports, but Dools and he were just on another level," News.com.au quoted Bailey, as saying..
"He is a classical player - quite beautiful to watch actually. It has been said a few times he looks a bit like Martin Love," he added.
"Dools is a bit of a cricket nuffy and the first couple of times Ricky did come back (to the Tasmanian side) Dools was the unfortunate one who made way. The fact now he has had the chance to play a couple of games with him has been great for him," he said.
Bailey added: "He made beautiful 20s and 30s and 40s last year, the year before he made a couple of hundreds. It's turning those starts into big scores, particularly at No. 3, that's going to make him of real interest to the selectors."