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Australia's batting skills need to improve before Ashes

George Bailey
George Bailey Gareth Copley / Getty Images

AUSTRALIA'S batting woes are showing no signs of easing ahead of the Ashes series.

Its bid to win a third consecutive Champions Trophy title ended in a 20-run defeat against Sri Lanka at The Oval yesterday.

Sri Lanka secured a semi-final showdown against India in Cardiff tomorrow after scoring eight for 253, before dismissing the Aussies for 233.

England face South Africa in the other semi-final at The Oval tonight.

It is not only the early exit from the competition that must be of concern for national selectors.

Adam Voges (135 runs at 45), and stand-in captain George Bailey (114 at 38), were the best performers with the bat and neither of them are in the Test squad.

Captain Michael Clarke's back injury and opener David Warner's suspension are also not helping the preparation for the first Test at Trent Bridge on July 10.

Meanwhile, spinner Nathan Lyon's potential rival for an Ashes berth, legspinner Fawad Ahmed, took a wicket on his Australia A debut in the 93-run victory - against Ireland in Belfast yesterday.

Fawad finished with one for 25 off six overs in Ireland's second innings.

Topics:  ashes australia champions trophy england test cricket