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Bailey set for Ashes bow

George Bailey is determined to make the most of his Test debut when the second Ashes series of the year begins on Thursday.

The 31-year-old Australia Twenty20 captain is set to make his five-day bow in Brisbane after a raft of stunning displays in limited-overs internationals.

He is expected to offer fireworks from the middle order as the hosts try and prevent England recording a fourth successive Ashes victory.

And the Tasmania batsman is ready to put the advice received from former Aussie Test players Rob Quiney, Matthew Wade and Xavier Doherty into action.

"It's been a bit of a weird week - it's felt a bit surreal," said Bailey on his inclusion in the Australia squad for the first Test at the Gabba.

George Bailey is set to make his first Test appearance during the opening rubber of the Ashes series in Brisbane on Thursday"But I guess it'll really sink in when we get into everything tomorrow. It's mostly excitement at this stage.

"I've had the chance to talk to Bobby Quiney and Wadey and Xavier Doherty over the last few days, and the overriding thing from them is just to make sure you enjoy it.

"Sometimes in these situations you have to remind yourself of that - because there's a lot going on."

While Bailey prepares for his belated debut, Mitchell Johnson is gearing up for a high-profile comeback.

A year older than Bailey, the left-arm fast bowler has not played Test cricket since March and was omitted from Australia's Investec Ashes plans.

But he has been in outstanding one-day international form of late and is a proven match-winner at his best.

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee is confident Johnson can have a major say in the Ashes and wants to see him set the tone by bowling the first over of the series.

"I'd definitely give Mitch first over,” said Lee.

"It would send a strong message that he was mentally and physically right.

"Tell him to run in and bowl fast, swing the ball, and hope he blasts those stumps out."

Lee does not expect Johnson to be put off either by England's 'Barmy Army' travelling support, who have enjoyed a bit of sledging with the bowler.

"Just enjoy it and have a laugh," Lee added.

"I think the Barmy Army is great for the game, and you've just got to try and laugh along with it.

"I don't think Mitch will let it get to him. He's a lot tougher mentally than you think."

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