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Adelaide Strikers coach Jason Gillespie backs Alex Ross for T20 World Cup

Adelaide Strikers coach Jason Gillespie says former ACT Comet Alex Ross “100 per cent” could take his game to the next level for Australia at the Twenty20 World Cup in India in March.

And Gillespie says the hard-hitting Jono Dean is the “next cab off the rank” if the Big Bash League team needs to bolster its batting stocks.

Ross has been in good form this summer, starting with a strong one-day domestic season, some good form in the Sheffield Shield and then a great opening two games of the BBL – where he’s scored 65 runs off 31 balls, 38 off 29 and seven off seven.

His form caught the eye of Aussie selector Mark Waugh, who described him as the “most improved player in Australia”, and Gillespie had no qualms about backing his middle-order batsman.

Gillespie said the keys to Ross’ success this summer were his fantastic work ethic and that he understood his own strengths.

He simply said “100 per cent” when asked if Ross was good enough to represent Australia.

“It wouldn’t be a shock to me if he got picked in the not too distant future for higher honours. He’s certainly playing some very good cricket,” Gillespie said.

“He’s learning his game and he’s understanding his strengths and how he goes about his work. His work ethic is fantastic.

“He deserves the bit of success that he’s having at the moment because he’s been working incredibly hard at his game.

“He’s got clear thoughts about how he wants to go about it. He’s practising specifically and going out and performing his skills so it’s really pleasing to see.”

With the Strikers’ batting line-up failing against the Sydney Thunder on Monday night, Dean could get his first opportunity of BBL05 in Adelaide’s next game – the Sydney Sixers at Adelaide Oval on New Year’s Eve.

The hard-hitting ACT Comet dislocated his finger playing club cricket in Canberra at the end of November, but Gillespie said he was fully recovered and fit to play.

Dean’s been named in the Strikers’ 13-man squad for the opening three games of the BBL, but yet to get a chance.

With Adelaide’s openers yet to hit their straps, he could be brought in for the final game of 2015.

Gillespie said Dean’s versatility made him a valuable asset for the Strikers.

“Jono is basically next cab off the rank really … Jono has trained the house down, he’s a quality lad and someone who is performing really well at training and I’m sure if an opportunity arose at some point during the tournament he’ll grab that opportunity with both hands,” Gillespie said.

“The beauty with Jono Dean is he’s very flexible, that’s the advantage we’ve got, he can adapt to any situation.

“He can come in in the middle order or he can go in near the top, so it allows us flexibility with the team because he’s such a versatile player.”

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