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Inverarity happy with Aussie batting depth
Richard Sydenham
06:28 AEST Thu Jul 5 2012

Australia's chief national selector John Inverarity says he's happy with the next batch of batsmen putting pressure on Australia's Test top six ahead of next year's Ashes tour.

Australia have suffered two comprehensive defeats so far in the five-match one-day series against England, but Inverarity believes the batting back-up have enough class to cover for the incumbent top order.

The trio of Peter Forrest, George Bailey and David Hussey - all currently in the touring one-day squad - are in pole position to fill the extra two batting spots.

"With the Ashes in mind for next year, our top six is pretty settled for now," Inverarity said at the team's hotel in Birmingham.

"Warner, Cowan, Watson, Ponting, Clarke and (Mike) Hussey. They did very well against India and did well on challenging wickets in West Indies.

"Obviously, a couple of those are getting on in years and we're trying to see who the next replacement batsmen are.

Inverarity said the short limited-overs tour of England is an ideal chance to give Queensland batsman Forrest a chance to shine against England's much-vaunted attack.

"That's why we included Peter Forrest when we did. We wanted him to come on as a batsman for Australia and certainly with an eye on Test cricket," said Inverarity.

"Personally, I'm really pleased with Peter. It was a pretty tough ask for him on Sunday, walking to the wicket at three at The Oval having not batted since the end of March. He hasn't had a hit for three months.

"He didn't have much practice either. He didn't get going but he looked pretty good (he scored 12 from 30 balls) and I'm quite pleased with him."

The 68-year-old, who played six Tests for Australia between 1968 and 1972, also threw up David Hussey and Bailey as the other two who can get a headstart on the rest with runs in the remaining three matches.

"David Hussey ... is a very experienced and good player. He did very well in Australia in Sydney. He didn't do quite as well in the West Indies, didn't play as well at Lord's but showed well at The Oval (29 off 37).

"And George Bailey, who did well at first in the West Indies, I thought played really well at The Oval where he got stuck in the middle but ended up with 69 off 86 (balls) which was very similar to Michael Clarke's innings at Lord's.

"Those guys are, I think, the best we've got and they are coming on and learning from their experiences," Inverarity said.