Australia news

Bailey predicts Indian duty for Doherty

Daniel Brettig

January 25, 2013

Comments: 27 | Text size: A | A

Xavier Doherty and George Bailey discuss their plans, Australia v West Indies, 2nd semi-final, World Twenty20 2012, Colombo, October 5, 2012
Most of George Bailey's domestic cricket for Tasmania has been played alongside Xavier Doherty © ICC/Getty
Related Links
Players/Officials: George Bailey | Xavier Doherty
Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka tour of Australia
Teams: Australia

Whatever the format, whatever the venue, it is clear George Bailey believes in Xavier Doherty. Occasionally, as in the final over of the West Indies innings during last year's World Twenty20 semi-final in Colombo, that belief has seemed extreme, but there is something to be said for a captain willing to give his spin bowler a chance.

Following the unfortunately timed shoulder injury to befall Michael Beer, Doherty's place as Australia's lead limited-overs spin bowler may soon be augmented by a place on the looming Test tour to India, a long-awaited moment for the left-armer to atone for an ordinary showing at the first time of asking, during the last Ashes series.

Most of Bailey's domestic cricket for Tasmania has been played alongside Doherty, and he knew well the sense of emptiness the bowler felt when he was tossed into and then out of Test matches with three wickets at a cost of more than 100 runs apiece after two appearances in 2010. For now Bailey is glad to have Doherty at his disposal in the two Twenty20 matches against Sri Lanka, but he is also hopeful of seeing him bowling on the subcontinent in February.

"I've got no doubt he'd like to have another crack at Test cricket," Bailey said. "I don't think he was particularly happy with how he bowled in that situation. The circumstances weren't great for him either, so he'd be looking to another opportunity to rectify that and prove a lot of people wrong. He's a good age for a spinner in terms of not getting too flustered if things don't go his way, he's pretty confident in his own game and got a good knowledge of where he's at."

In recent times Doherty's best role has been as a foil for Tasmania's seam and swing bowlers, bottling up an end or frustrating batsmen into error on Bellerive Oval surfaces that have seldom offered him as much assistance. The Sydney Olympic Stadium pitch is likely to be a slow one, offering Doherty the chance to demonstrate the unflappability that Bailey admires.

"What I see in him is someone who's very settled," Bailey said. "There's times in the Tassie Shield side when playing at Bellerive where he's had to change the way he's had to bowl. There's wickets where he can be quite attacking and wickets where he has to be a little more defensive. "I think he's worked that into his game. He can sum situations up pretty quickly, depending on whether the batsmen are coming hard or if it's X's turn to push for wickets."

Doherty and Bailey are two players in the curious position of auditioning for places on the India Test tour via T20 matches. Given that the World T20 was only recently decided and the next event in Bangladesh is still two years away, the players selected will have differing goals. The likes of Shaun Marsh, Ben Laughlin and Adam Voges will seek to resurrect international careers that had seemed over or close to it, while Glenn Maxwell is in search of at least one display of substance.

"It's a little bit of a transition period, but having said that I think some of the newer players are still very experienced with games under their belt and their ages and whatnot, so we're having a look at some players," Bailey said. "But in terms of the balance of the side it is pretty similar to what we were starting to get together from just prior to the World T20. Not a bad result there in terms of where we got to in those conditions.

"I certainly think we are still underachieving in T20 cricket, more so than any of the other formats. There's no reason why with the players we have, the depth we have that we shouldn't have a side that are consistently in the top couple teams in the world."

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

RSS Feeds: Daniel Brettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Arrow011 on (January 26, 2013, 12:26 GMT)

I think Hauritz was the best spinner after Warne & Mc Gill retired but now the selectors seem to collect tid-bit spinners just for the sake of adding spinners in the playing 11. Lyon is okay but you need atleast 1 or 2 more to be in the playing 11. Jason Krejza seems to have gone off selector's radar altogether.

Posted by Harmony111 on (January 26, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

Hi everyone, sorry if I seem a bit out of sync here but what happened to Hauritz and where is he at the moment in the order of spinners? And my tune perhaps goes even more jarring but where is Krejza? He looks to be the one spinner among all these who could actually spin the ball and quite a bit at times.

I really do not think Doherty is all that good that he can play a test, sorry but that is how it seems to me. In ODIs he has his role but tests may be beyond him. As for Beer, might be a good idea for the evenings :-p, have never seen him bowl so can't say much.

Although the common advice is to pick horses for courses and so if the Indian wickets suit spinners then Aus should play spinner(s), but what if they aren't that good? Eng won in Ind cos Monty bowled very well and it gave them some spine to stand on. What is his strength? Strong man with BIG hands which can give the ball heavy revolutions even at relatively high speed at an angle to RHB.

Aus got any like him? Krejza?

Posted by Sachit1979 on (January 26, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

Agreed with Eightfa. Steve O'Keefe deserves better chance ahead of Doherty for tour India. With a kind of role played by Swann and Panesar in recently concluded test series between India and England, it's very clear that spinners would have big responsibility to bear and CA selectors can't afford to error with selection of spinners for the tour. Nathan Lyon's position also to be contemplated very sincerely. With his existing records and skills, he does not like intimidating Indian batting on Indian soil.

Posted by Eightfa on (January 26, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

Surely sok has to be picked for India the Australian selection panel has stated form counts Okeefe is the only spinner in Australia with an average under 30 it's around the 27 28 mark. Cricket is a game of numbers they do not lie. He also has a great competitive spirit

Posted by smudgeon on (January 26, 2013, 4:06 GMT)

Okay, as much as I like Xavier (he's alright, you know), I think the debate about the second spinner for India is probably about to be closed: SoK has 8 wickets so far in the current Shield match, and I think his legions of fans will start crowing any second now :) FWIW, I haven't been able to figure why he hasn't been near the test side before either, and I hope if he is picked (and why not?), he makes the best of his opportunity.

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 26, 2013, 3:40 GMT)

I've got nothing against X. In fact,. I quite like him in the ODI side, but I'd go with O'Keefe. Why the hell not. Give the lad a crack at the big time I reckon. He'd have to play pretty badly to do worse than some of the no-hopers that have been given a shot in the last 5 or 6 years.

Posted by Mitcher on (January 26, 2013, 0:59 GMT)

@Gilly4ever: I saw someone make a similar comment during the match commentary the other day. I'm still scratching my head how SCG's ripping leg breaks in any way resemble Doherty's barely turning left arm finger spin. With our bare cupboard of spinners I don't deny he's in the mix for India. But that comparison seems a fair disservice to Macgilla.

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (January 25, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

I think bowling underarm would get more wickets than doherty & lyon. If you need any tips just ask chappell.

Posted by Sir_Francis on (January 25, 2013, 22:52 GMT)

Viv Gilchrist is correct. Doherty has 119 wickets from 51 games at an average of 45. He's played more than 11 years. He's not, all of a sudden, going to turn into Derek Underwood. It should be obvious to Bailey & the selectors that he's only a 50 over bowler.

Posted by blink182alex on (January 25, 2013, 18:06 GMT)

He may dream of playing tests again but Doherty has no chance. I would be a better spin option in India than him.

Posted by Cereshamish on (January 25, 2013, 17:57 GMT)

I don't get why Lyon doesn't get into the limited overs team

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 25, 2013, 13:31 GMT)

Doherty reminds me so much of Stuart MacGill, who was so good in the subcontinent. I think that Doherty will do the same. Look at his record against Sri Lanka vs his record against England.

Posted by VivGilchrist on (January 25, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

Doherty is not a Test bowler. In fact, he is not even a descent first-class bowler.

Posted by Mary_786 on (January 25, 2013, 13:13 GMT)

I think the fact that David Hussey has been dropped shows that he won't make the Indian tour especially given he didnt get any runs in shield yesterday. That to me indicates that either Smith or O Keefe may get the node as spinner allrounders with Khawaja as replacement for Mike Hussey. If that is the case i would lean towards Smith for his batting and O Keefe for his bowling, its a real tough one and i wouldn't want to be in the selectors shoes right now.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

Looking for good spinners around the world, my head spins! Occassionally a Mendis or Sunil Narain springs up; to be found out soon. That way,...Ajmal, Swann, and to some extent Monty can still hold their heads higfh!

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 12:14 GMT)

Doherty is fine. As good (or as bad) as any other spinner Oz tried out after Warney retired. But someone has to bail out Bailey from the Oz team. Even an outsider can see that Oz have so many better batsmen! What a choice!Invariably Inverarity... who seem to be like Ashwin... who has to bowl a few bad deliveries, every over, along with good ones. So seem to be the mix of Inverarity's choices. A few bad choices , along with many excellent ones!

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

Watch out, our Indian batsmen. You guys, who can't handle Tredwell well, and find it difficult to get runs aginst Root !...The root cause of your problem is that you are not getting used to batting against quality spin. Do-Herty...Do Hurt...(can, and perhaps will) quite badly, if you don't practice against quality spin. Ashwin, our lead spinner seem to be as potent as a can of Diet Cola, opened the previous day, and left in the open ground overnight! And the spin shelf is full of similarly half emptied cans! BCCI has to empty those shelves and try to stock up some freshly brewed stuff. Pronto!

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 25, 2013, 11:04 GMT)

Maxim Payne - Maybe you should read the article and not the heading all Bailey says is that Doherty would love to go to India. Which reallly is stating the obvious. The writer has taken a lot of scope with that comment.

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 25, 2013, 10:50 GMT)

I don't know who I like better Lyon or Doherty. To me I hope that both don't make it to India. And also if Doherty does make it to the Tests in India I don't think he will cause too many problems for very good spin bowling batsman. I would say O'Keefe should be the number one but with any luck someone else can be the number two but not Lyon nor Doherty. Lyon has been slipping for awhile now and I don't think Cricket Australia could keep on playing him for no reason.

Posted by Straightarm on (January 25, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

O'Keefe surely must be the man. He is Australia's only domestic spin bowler with an average under 30, and is in good touch (4 wickets in the ongoing shield match). Add to that a batting average of over 30 (a lower order consisting of O'Keefe, Starc, Siddle and Johnson looks fearsome) and impressive leadership credentials. Lyon must surely be looking over his shoulder!

Posted by RednWhiteArmy on (January 25, 2013, 9:55 GMT)

Really? This is whats officially known as scraping the barrel. Enjoy your tour boys, i know i will.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 9:41 GMT)

Here are the ODI bowling stats for the most recent lineup of full-time bowlers:

McKay: 22.27 from 37 matches Starc: 22,40 from 15 matches (and an excellent lower order batsman) Johnson: 25.08 from 116 matches


Doherty: 33.93 from 42 matches

The only explanation is that Xavier is Clarkey's best mate. He shouldn't be playing either five day or limited overs cricket.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 9:33 GMT)

Apparently Bailey hasn't noticed that SOK has just taken 4 wickets in the 1st innings against WA, also Bailey should be nowhere near the test team.

Posted by   on (January 25, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

Doherty has 42 ODI matches at an average of just under 34. For a specialist bowler that is simply not good enough. For comparison the part-timer David Hussey has an average of 38.77 and is a capable middle-order bat. Geez, just ten years ago bowling stocks were such that Doherty would be lucky to play in a State side, let alone be a staple of the 50 over team. I just wish selectors would stop picking these guys who are perennial underperformers, like Steve Smith, or before that White as the ODI spin option.

Posted by Meety on (January 25, 2013, 8:27 GMT)

Bailey is not directly quoted as saying Doherty to India. This is the 2nd article I have read today pushing Doherty for India - very disturbing. Doherty was swept up into the Oz Test team due to ONE good bowling performance against SL, it ended badly. He is not a Test wicket taking bowler.

Posted by Big_Maxy_Walker on (January 25, 2013, 8:22 GMT)

doherty is fine in the short form but has a terrible first class record and was bad in the couple of tests he played

Posted by Big-Dog on (January 25, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

I don't think there is any realistic chance of Bailey making the test squad but given the recent injury to Beer, Doherty must be a chance.

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Daniel BrettigClose
Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
Tour Results
Australia v Sri Lanka at Melbourne - Jan 28, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 2 runs (D/L method)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Jan 26, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets (with 7 balls remaining)
Australia v Sri Lanka at Hobart - Jan 23, 2013
Australia won by 32 runs
Australia v Sri Lanka at Sydney - Jan 20, 2013
No result
Australia v Sri Lanka at Brisbane - Jan 18, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 4 wickets (with 180 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days