Australia v India, 1st Twenty20, Stadium Australia, Sydney January 31, 2012

George Bailey pledges to maintain standards


New captain, new format, same attitude. Australia's new Twenty20 captain, George Bailey, has set himself the marker of ensuring the high standards reached by the Test team against India do not slacken in the game's shortest format.

Bailey has been passed the leadership baton from Test captain Michael Clarke and is leading a much-changed side in the first Twenty20 at Sydney's Olympic Stadium. He is intent on making sure India are again pressed to their limits and beyond by a team that works harder and more assiduously at the game's fundamentals, irrespective of the difference in format and personnel. Bailey also wants to keep the sense of happiness and clear objectives maintained under Clarke, mindful his group has only six fixtures between now and the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September.

"It's important we continue the momentum of the Test team, not just in the cricket they played, but in the standards they're setting in the Test team at their training and the great feel around the group as well," Bailey said. "We've spoken about that and about the great energy they've provided, and the great start and the great feeling among that group, and how they feel like they've set a real standard.

"We've talked about that as a T20 group as well, continuing that, allowing the one-day side to have that feeling when they get together as well, and knowing you don't get the T20 group together that often, so up until the World Cup in six months time we've got six games. Every opportunity we get to hit the ground running and make a big impression, we have to take."

As the first Australian since Dave Gregory in the first Test match of all to make his international debut as captain, Bailey is poised to create rare history. The other side of this achievement, of course, are the sniggers about whether or not Bailey is worth his place in the XI, having been elevated to the role as much for his leadership as his feisty middle-order batting.

"It wasn't me who picked the team. I'm just excited to be here and be leading it and hopefully continuing on the great form and the great start to the summer that Australia have had," Bailey said. "I'm nervous about both [captaincy and debut], from the playing aspect you're anxious to get out there and perform really well, and the captaining side of things I'm really comfortable with that, it's more getting to know the players as quickly as I can. We've had some great training sessions, really hard sessions … once I get my head around knowing the players as well as I can, that'll fall into place nicely."

At the opposite end of the scale to Bailey in terms of international experience are Brett Lee and Brad Hogg, two well-travelled bowlers likely to play a significant role for the new captain at the top and tail of the Indian innings. Bailey said Lee's leadership of the bowling attack would be critical.

"That experience is going to be really important and something that we'll tap into," he said. "I think his numbers in the recent Big Bash were outstanding, particularly for someone who bowls in your key periods at the top and also at the death. Lee embraces that role as the leading fast bowler in our team, and his experience is outstanding, and the thing I love about him is just how competitive he is."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 1, 2012, 7:35 GMT

    INDIA has to win for their prestige .........

  • Ajay on February 1, 2012, 5:29 GMT

    Great news for cricket specially in Australia, They give Test cricket more importance than T20. Bright future for Australia ahead. Well done Australia!

  • Roo on February 1, 2012, 4:34 GMT

    Bailey's a v.g. SS & OD captain & obviously is the 1st person picked in any team (a captain)... Interesting to read that the first thing Inverarity asked Bailey was to write down his own squad & that they basically had the same team... Obviously 2 v.g. cricketing minds thinking in the same direction... Good to see...

  • Roo on February 1, 2012, 4:33 GMT

    @Daniel Brettig :- "his group has only six fixtures between now and the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka" ... What 6 matches?... 2 in Oz & 2 in WI - where do the other 2 come from?...

  • Senthil on February 1, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    Australia thinks beating India in test means they can run through T20 and ODI. It is not easy. In an anothereditoral comment by Daniel Brettig is even assuming for World T20 trophy by Aussies. Impossible, remember how they lost with England in finals. Now the present T20 team is unpredictable yet I can predict that this team can not win T20 cup, which will remain elusive for Australia. That too playing in Srilanka, not possible Mr Daniel Brettig! First show that Aussies can win T20 everywhere not just by beating one team!

  • Harry on February 1, 2012, 0:25 GMT

    @jaggadaaku, firstly, not everything revolves around the IPL. Saying that test cricketers, who all regularly reiterate that test cricket is 'the' main form of the game, are only playing to ensure a place in the IPL is like saying a first-class cricketer is only playing to ensure his spot in grade cricket. Believe it or not, the majority of cricketers value the privilege and honour of playing for their country higher than most things - hence the huge amount of personal sacrifice most go through to get there. It just seems that the repetition of such sentiments by cricketers is so frequent that it's become cliched, somehow devaluing the fact that its almost universally true.

  • Gaurav on January 31, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    @Jaggadaaku..Its not all about money..its being a part of the game and be in your profession in any form. Passion for cricket makes you play and motivates you to keep playing.

  • Gaurav on January 31, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    Not all Indian Domestic players can go in foreign countries with team India to show or test their talent, however IPL gives these rookies a chance to play with and against many foreign professionals..importantly under good coaches as well..which is otherwise not possible. So IPL/T20 cricket..keep going..and all the fans support their home teams/players and enjoy cricket as usual. India will rock the world again!!!

  • Gaurav on January 31, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    Australians are one is taking T-20 lightly! Difference between India and Australia is that CA can take bold decisions and they show faith in youngsters and those players who have performed. BCCI is not sure..of what to do but CA is. I am an Indian supporter, however I like professionalism, which India lacks. Come On India..lets settle our scores asap!!! T20 Captaincy should be given to Raina..or Kohli..they are really competitive..and they have that fire in them to work hard and get others to do the same. Raina, Kohli, Pathan bros, Jadeja, Rohit Sharma,Ojha,Rahul sharma,Ashwin..they are the future of Indian Cricket. BCCI pls nurture them..if India wants to defend the next world cup. they will be the key. People stop complaining about IPL, T-20 cricket as this T20 has unearthed the real this format gives license to go ahead and play khul ke.Indian odi team has only 11 vacancies but IPL has close to 100 places for indian raw talent to show their potential.

  • Ant on January 31, 2012, 15:05 GMT

    this is proof that no-one takes T20's flip a coin and see who wins cricket

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