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George Bailey's cautionary tale

Daniel Brettig

January 21, 2014

Comments: 76 | Text size: A | A

George Bailey edged to first slip, Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 1st day, January 3, 2014
George Bailey had a poor Ashes series after a terrific run in ODIs © PA Photos
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The schedule giveth, and the schedule taketh away. George Bailey has admitted that the same run of limited-overs matches that catapulted him into Australia's Test XI, also fostered bad habits that he could not shake during the Ashes, leading to a poor return with the bat and his omission from the squad to tour South Africa.

To win Australia's ODI player of the year award hours after the national selector John Inverarity announced that he was not among the 15 for South Africa rather summed up Bailey's mixed emotions. He reflected on how his run-scoring feats in India did not leave him best-placed to combat the challenges posed by James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

This led to a lack of first innings scores that allowed Alex Doolan and Shaun Marsh to be chosen ahead of him for the next Test match assignment. Having spoken at length with the coach Darren Lehmann while missing Sunday's SCG match with a hip complaint, Bailey said he now looked to the examples of the Test captain Michael Clarke and the young middle-order batsman Steve Smith for clues on how to adapt better should he be chosen again.

"I had a really good chat with Boof during the one-day game and I think I've got some things to work on against good quality fast bowling," Bailey said. "I've probably got into some bad habits playing a lot of short form cricket so I've got to go away and work out how to get rid of those, and then work out how to adapt really quickly, which I think you see Pup and Steve Smith do really well, and that's what I've got to get to.

"To be honest I was more hoping than expecting to be on the tour. I think I was a benefit of the fact we were winning those Tests, so as a batsman I think you're judged on setting games up and scoring big runs in the first innings, so I would've liked to contribute more in those runs, and if you'd done that then I think it would've been an expectation to be on that flight as opposed to a hope. I can't really fault it [his omission]."

Bailey had given himself an ultimatum of sorts at the start of the summer, reasoning that at 31 this would be his one and only chance. But a program offering the opportunity to play against Pakistan in the UAE and also India at home next summer, leaves a half-open window, given his aptitude for attacking spin bowlers and the reliance of the subcontinental countries on Saeed Ajmal and R Ashwin.

"I think I said at the start of the series that at 31 you probably only get one crack at it, but I'm hoping now to prove myself wrong," Bailey said. "I don't think it matters what age you debut, you're always going to get to that level and find so much out about yourself and find out so much about that level. I learned a hell of a lot about my game, and you discover there's so much more to learn. So it's reinvigorated me in a lot of ways.

"I tell you what, those five Tests, if that's not the most addictive thing to be a part of and want to get back and feel that once again, I don't think I've ever had a greater motivation."

For now, though, Bailey will start thinking about leading the Twenty20 team against England and then formulating a plan to win the World T20 in Bangladesh, having reached the semi-finals on his first attempt in Sri Lanka in 2012. "We're probably not going to get that squad together until South Africa," he said, "so it's going to be the normal T20 conundrum of how you try to build a World Cup-winning side in a short space of time."

If it does turn out that Bailey's only five Tests were the matches against England that are swiftly passing into Australian cricket legend, he will smile about his small contribution to a memorable summer. It certainly did not go unnoticed by his captain Clarke, who offered generous words to a valued team-mate.

"Bails is a great example of someone who didn't perform as well as he'd have liked personally throughout the Ashes, but I can't tell you enough the benefit of having him around the group, his leadership on and off the field, his attitude," he said. "And that takes more courage and character than when you're making hundreds or taking five-fors.

"To give so much back to the team when you're not performing personally I think that's the most underrated thing in sport and he's been a great example. I also think that's why the whole team feels for him that he's not coming to South Africa with us."

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

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Posted by Gibbke2 on (January 25, 2014, 5:48 GMT)

I'm from Launceston, one-eyed Tiger fan, and Bailey is the one player I wanted to see dominate the Ashes, not only out of pure parochial bias but also because he's been such an upstanding and likeable guy since he made the scene. But it was never going to happen, and there was always a sense of foreboding that he would struggle at test level. I'm not convinced he will do a great deal better if he makes one of these later tours, because even if he digs down and trains his butt off, he'll find it difficult to go up that extra level due to his age. He'll finish his career as an outstandingly successful LO batsman, I hope, but I can't imagine gold stars in the test column. Everyone's right about his value to the team, so I hope we all remember the great fielding, cameo batting efforts, off field professionalism and that awesome over off Anderson, and always regard him as a worthy member of the 5-nil 2013-14 Ashes squad...that might be all we get!

Posted by Beertjie on (January 23, 2014, 20:39 GMT)

@Samuel Cardwell on (January 23, 2014, 0:45 GMT) Like you I like his honesty as well as much else about the guy. However, one way to contribute to losing the Ashes next year is for him to get bedded into the team again prior to that tour. Investing in quality middle order batsmen over the next year is the way to go - not taking a punt on all-rounders like Faulkner and even less being satisfied with batting performances like Bailey's in the past Ashes. Glad Doolan was given a chance (hope Marsh is just a reserve). If they don't take their chances when given they should be cut more swiftly than Hughes who was given 9 consecutive tests on the back of his stellar fiirst class record before being chopped in England. Besides using proper criteria to select, it's knowing when to axe that are the hallmarks of a good NSP.

Posted by Ozizim on (January 23, 2014, 3:39 GMT)

My favourite pyayer in this team. He seems to have offered more than others as a team man, but selected as a batsman, he failed to give the big scores needed. Unfortunate that he's not part of the squad, but really hoping for his return some time soon. I do not support the Aus team but I am in awe of GB's honesty on and off the field. Kudos to you, GB, hope to see you soon in a Baggy Green.

Posted by cccrider on (January 23, 2014, 3:02 GMT)

Let's separate out the 'He's a good guy' or 'Give Homer another go' - they are irrelevant.

His performance as a batsman is palpably short of where it needs to be. This should be no surprise to anyone, based on performance over 10 years of long form cricket.

Posted by   on (January 23, 2014, 0:45 GMT)

I like his honesty here. I don't understand dropping him for Marsh though, who's really a bit rubbish - Bailey offers way more to the touring party even if only as a twelfth man! Doolan may be a better option. I really hope they pick Bailey again for the Pakistan series, having protected him from SA's bowlers, as I think that's where he can really flourish as a number six. Even India at home he could play a role, against medium pacers (though better medium pacers than usual in Shami and Kumar) and spinners. If he had a couple good series against those guys it might bed him into the test squad.

Posted by Meety on (January 22, 2014, 23:45 GMT)

@dunger.bob on (January 21, 2014, 23:03 GMT) - i agree. Years ago I wanted Michael Bevan to be a sub-cont. specialist. I would definately consider Bailey for the next tour of India. @oscoli67 on (January 21, 2014, 12:46 GMT) - a) his conference was AFTER the Ashes, b) regarding Pride & Fall, the fact was it DID happen, so he was talking of Fact. No big-noting - as that is when people say "we're gunna do this or that..." Sorry epic fail matey! @Moppa on (January 21, 2014, 23:57 GMT) - he probably only read the heading!

Posted by appapapa1 on (January 22, 2014, 23:44 GMT)

Looks like Australian Cricket Selectors are divisive and when Clarke had back issues and they knew they would lose in India - they wanted Bailey to lead -- how convenient Bailey was a leader. Bailey showed them how to put a tough fight with scraps of demoralized team who came back and delivered on the Ashes. This is the same club that selected Mickey Arthur for coach and gives David Warner 100 chances when his mouth was bigger than his game. Inverarity talks as though he has achieved a lot - 17 is his average in tests. Looks like Nepotism got here with Marsh, his test average is 27 vs Bailey 26 and his ODI is 40 vs Bailey 54. Why not someone else - other than Marsh - go figure this out. Keep your chin high Bailey and make sure when Clarke has a back ache you dont Bail (ey) him out.

Posted by BlackJack16 on (January 22, 2014, 22:37 GMT)

I do feel for George Bailey, considering the irony that his ODI form this past year was outstanding and did a fantastic job as captain in Michael Clarke's absence. But this was only his first experience at test level and the change of rhythm would have no doubt affected his game. The thing is that once you enter a new environment, you understand the challenges that it poses and then you work further on your game to adapt to it and eventually achieve success. So George should take this bad break on the chin and use it as motivation to drive harder and prove himself worthy at test level. I believe he is capable because of his leadership skills, impressive limited overs form and positive and respectable attitude towards his teammates. I know that he will return to the test side at some point if he can continue with all of this. I wish him the best of luck.

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 16:14 GMT)

Bailey looked abject against the 'quicks' during the Ashes! Why are people saying he deserves a spot? The SA pace trio would have pushed that average down sub-20 by the end of the series surely. That said, why Marsh earns a spot in the WA XI is nearly beyond me, let alone the Australian XI. Like some of the commentators, I would have selected Hughes (after time with his local shrink) before either without hesitation. But I am looking forward to seeing Doolan make an elegant 17, or perhaps a determined 31 against a swell of single digit figures. They will all be elegantly compiled.

Posted by Playfair on (January 22, 2014, 13:59 GMT)

Its a shame that the Aussie selectors have dropped Bailey. I thought he played some crucial innings at crucial times during the Ashes. His innings may not have been big but they contributed in the wider scheme of play as did his fielding. Hope he fights his way back into contention. Not sure about Doolan but been hearing alot Maddinson..

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 12:55 GMT)

I think Bailey brings so much more to the team. His fielding was superb. Took more catches than anyone except Haddin including some beauties at short leg. He is the ultimate team man, as Clark pointed out, and his record as captain of the T20 team demonstrates so well. A winning team should not be changed unless its critical. He should have gone. Why not take 16 to South Africa. A short sighted approach to selection.

Posted by Eightfa on (January 22, 2014, 6:44 GMT)

i really like bailey but he was his own worst enemy in the ashes. Now he could face a scenario where he may find himself out of the odis & T20 in the near future. the selectors are viewing steve smith as the future of Australian cricket if he gets a hundred in perth who do you drop for the return of clarke. the selectors may see it as time to start blooding smith in those captaincy rolls. I think bailey will be very nervous.

Posted by samlil on (January 22, 2014, 5:40 GMT)

Spot on @Jono Makim. Two form batsmen in shield this season are Hughes and North, both have been to SAfrica before and both have performed well there, same is true for Marsh of course, but any of them have to have better credentials than Bailey. Looks like the strategy is to move Watson to 6 to replace Bailey, and bring in Marsh at 3.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 22, 2014, 4:51 GMT)

@Jono Makim . Yep I know it's a big call, but IMHO, he didn't show me enough credentials to persevere with. I know he is 10 months older, but unlike Marsh, he isn't a protected species. Look, I have a lot of time for Bailey as a cricketer, I don't know how may times I watched him crush us in one dayers with his brand of power hitting, but he seems to have slipped further away from his solid technique. I saw Smith re-invent himself on the Shield circuit, but he had youth & time on his side whereas George doesn't. The lure of the dollar will keep him focussed in the short form, no doubt.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 22, 2014, 4:40 GMT)

@Jono Makim . Yep I know it's a big call, but IMHO, he didn't show me enough credentials to persevere with. I know he is 10 months older, but unlike Marsh, he isn't a protected species. Look, I have a lot of time for Bailey as a cricketer, I don't know how may times I watched him crush us in one dayers with his brand of power hitting, but he seems to have slipped further away from his solid technique. I saw Smith re-invent himself on the Shield circuit, but he had youth & time on his side whereas George doesn't. The lure of the dollar will keep him focussed in the short form, no doubt.

Posted by pando on (January 22, 2014, 3:38 GMT)

Sorry George, you just were not good enough as a test cricketer. Simple as that. One day cricket bad habits just dont cut it. Unfortunately I am not expecting Marsh to reach the low expectations I have for him in Sth Africa either. Play Doolan for goodness sake!!!!

Posted by   on (January 22, 2014, 3:11 GMT)

@Chris_P, he is only 10 months older than Marsh, pretty bold call to suggest he won't be back! I'm not sure it's right but I'd suggest a comeback is more than likely.

Personally I probably would've dipped for Hughes and North as the two batsmen to come in. Both in good domestic form and North, by comparison to what's come since his axing, was actually pretty successful!

Posted by elvis57 on (January 22, 2014, 3:09 GMT)

Bailey seems like a great guy, the type who would benefit any cricket team. His scores in the tests weren't great but I would have picked him ahead of Marsh who has not got a great test or first class record and shows no leadership.

Posted by left_arm_unorthodox on (January 22, 2014, 1:51 GMT)

I want to believe Shaun Marsh should be there... but... first class average of 35... and lower this year! Given Roger's selection at 36 years old suggests age is not the barrier it might be, Marsh should be behind (at least) Cam White, Marcus North, Peter Forrest, Phil Hughes... hell, almost everyone. Does Geoff Marsh have some incriminating photos of Inverarity? Or is 'Invers' giving an old team-mate's son a hand up? Is your Dad more important than your stats? Clearly Shaun Marsh was pronounced 'the future' at some time in the past and the selectors can't let it go. I would not put him in an Australian second 11, and only maybe a third 11... this is a really bad sign for Australia in South Africa, and a bad sign for the mindset of the current selection panel.

Posted by JustAnotherCricketFan on (January 22, 2014, 1:49 GMT)

@krik8crazy Mani understand what youre trying to say and i think to some extent there would have to be a lot of politics involved given its such a high level professional sport. but if you saw it you felt that he wasnt doing well. But her seemed less confident/nervous in all tests as expected of any new comer. but its weird, cos you feel for the guy, even if he failed to put a big score, i found myself still rooting for the guy, and thinking "but he smashed the 28 in an over, surely thats gotta save him a spot in the squad". In age where everyone has an expert opinion who should be axed and why this guy or that guy isnt picked, pretty much no one would would want to replace Bailey. And when youre that loved by general public, selectors and teammates alike, then its hard to keep you out of side for too long. Mustve been hard for selectors to make that call. and im sure when he got axed everyone from shane warne to healey will have called him up to offer support and advice.

Posted by irmark on (January 22, 2014, 1:32 GMT)

I disagree that all players need to pick either test or short form, Yes some may specialise in one or the other, But to play both, i think you need to look beyond the narrow view of 'natural game' and the possiblity that some players may be able to apply distinctly different mindsets when batting. Great test openers should/would be doing this, There is a difference between new ball batting and once the ball and pitch have settled down, There should be a different approach in seeing off the new ball. But for players who can't keep mindsets separate, then yes by all means it may be better to pick one or the other.

Posted by Moppa on (January 21, 2014, 23:57 GMT)

@Dr Vindaloo and @oscoli67, congratulations, you have managed to make petty and churlish comments about the nicest man in international cricket. @Dr.Vindaloo, if you are talking about the James Anderson incident, I think it is well established that Anderson over-reacted to some pretty gentle comments from Bailey and Clarke came into defend the debutant. If you are referring to the 'keeping them under pressure' article recently, you're making the same mistake as @oscoli67 in confusing what Bailey actually said with what the cricinfo journalist inferred. Bailey only said Australia took pride in keeping England under pressure, and then went on to say that the three people going home 'aren't related' to the pressure imposed by the Australians and 'could be a coincidence'. It seems you've completely invented the 'one by one' part - you have a good imagination! If you don't believe me, check out the article: http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013-14/content/story/710213.html

Posted by Little_Aussie_Battler on (January 21, 2014, 23:54 GMT)

Ian Chappell said before the series began that Bailey was not suited to test cricket and his averages in Shield cricket the last two seasons were sub 40 which is not good enough.

Someone needs to take John Inverarity to task. Now he has picked Shaun Marsh because his mystic told him to or some other insane reasoning behind it.

Inverarity did play cricket in the era before helmets, maybe he copped one too many and now he is not all there. Hard to explain the rationale.

Posted by runout49 on (January 21, 2014, 23:53 GMT)

Never played in a losing test. Shares a world record with Brian Lara and hit more sixers in tests than Don Bradman. Even if he doesn't play another test (and he should play against the spinners of India and Pakistan as Khawaja Fahad suggests) its a record to be proud of. Well done George and keep smiling !

Posted by GrindAR on (January 21, 2014, 23:47 GMT)

A player came in without bells and whistles and changed the whole mindset of the team in a whisker. That's the skill of Bailey. He showed arrogance in the way he batted and in the ways he made on field decisions... I would say it shrewdness than arrogance... because he is and will be possess that weapon the sharpen the blunt items... including rusty displays... I would have him in my team any day. Very few people make a positive ambiance within the team and make them believe that they can. Until Bailey arrived, Aus team was like current eng team. After his arrival, Aus team is what it is today. In the tricky and if damage happen it will be catastrophic in SA for any visiting team... Bailey is needed for his ambience benefits if not anything else... Aus will miss him dearly in SA.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 21, 2014, 23:46 GMT)

@Khawaja Fahad - completely agree with you. bailey is a very good cricketer. he was given 5 tests to prove himself. which i think he did.sure he didn't get big scores but which great players in the past (other than few) did ? he should be on that plane to SA and given the opportunity to show what he's learnt during ashes. cutting him from squad for hopeless shaun marsh is just favoritism i reckon!

Posted by CoverDrive88 on (January 21, 2014, 23:45 GMT)

I said it elsewhere - I had great respect for Inverarity as a Shield player and high hopes we would be rid of the attitude of gambling that average Shield players would suddenly turn into Test stars when he replaced Hilditch. However it's just more of the same. Bailey was highly unlikely to succeed - ODI form on concrete wickets is no guide. Marsh is at least a better bat but his record suggests he won't make it. Doolan's Shield record is marginally better again but his average is ordinary and at 28 it's pretty unlikely that he will (especially if they push him to no 3 to protect the experienced players like they did to Hughes and Khawaja). Maxwell getting a cap on the basis of T20 aggression was a travesty, a serious insult to good players of the past who never made it to Test level e.g. Sam Trimble, nearly Rogers, even Inverarity deserved a lot more Tests if Maxwell got a cap. Time for Tubby Taylor to run CA, Ian Chappell as Chairman of selectors.

Posted by MinusZero on (January 21, 2014, 23:09 GMT)

This is exactly why ODI form should not count in test selection. An ODI player does not a test player make. I will never be convinced that Watson is test standard, must be some behind the scenes deals going on.

Posted by dunger.bob on (January 21, 2014, 23:03 GMT)

People talk about horses for courses. I wonder if Bailey might end up being our first sub-contintental specialist. You know, give him a miss on the quicker decks and draft him in for the spinners paradises. .. no, probably not.

Posted by Hasun888 on (January 21, 2014, 22:21 GMT)

George Bailey is a good investment. He performs when the situation is required...like in the ODI format where Australia was seriously declining before Bailey. He will surely make the best of his next chance. The Anderson over was the highlight of the Ashes.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 22:20 GMT)

I don't get it really, I like Bailey a lot, but as a professional of ten years he should be able to adjust almost seamlessly I would have thought. To be honest I think he had some confidence issues playing in the whites, more than he had technical problems. I wish he'd have gone for a more attacking approach, he seemed to me to be constantly caught in two minds, but anyhow only the batsman himself can be the judge of that.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 21, 2014, 22:18 GMT)

Its international cricket, and the reality is you should only get a game if your the best not if your a good bloke or a good leader. Bailey was given extra chances due to our position in the series and still didn't nail it and in my opinion rightfully dropped. Its just the selection of the replacements that is bewildering.

Posted by GJBonnor on (January 21, 2014, 22:17 GMT)

Bailey is not good enough in long form cricket. We knew this before the test series. He was very fortunate to have 9 team mates who had a very good set of matches and Watson. Shame, he had the 'character' Invers wants in players (see the WACA post match celebration television footage). Instead we get the boring Doolan and the perennially injured Marsh. Should have taken Lynn or Carters for the experience or given Voges a test opportunity.

Posted by ShutTheGate on (January 21, 2014, 22:09 GMT)

Hopefully Bailey goes away from this and works on his technique. I think he'll struggle in tests when 80% of his shots are on the on side and he plays a lot of cross bat shots.

Hopefully we see him in the UAE with a more rounded batting approach and he is able to make the step up.

Posted by Alexk400 on (January 21, 2014, 21:35 GMT)

I do not think so. He is not made for test cricket and most important of all , he is old.

Posted by ThatsJustCricket on (January 21, 2014, 21:35 GMT)

I think the Aussie selectors are being a tad too quick to dump Bailey. He should have got another series to prove himself. Particularly, given that his replacement is Shaun Marsh who is worse in every aspect.

Posted by Chris_P on (January 21, 2014, 21:17 GMT)

Bailey's efforts in the Tests were predicted by so many people with cricket knowledge it wasn't funny. He ,simply said, didn't have any FC form to go by, scoring runs on roads in India with restricted field placing & pop gun bowling does not convert to test success without FC form. I think he should be personally insulted that he was replaced by a player with similar One Day form & LESS credentials in First Class! A good guy, a pretty solid technique that's dissolved with T20 cricket & very astute cricketer. Great memories from your test career, but you won't be back, enjoy T20 & ODI, you deserve to.

Posted by Essex_Man on (January 21, 2014, 21:10 GMT)

I haven't seen much of either Doolan or Marsh, but dropping Bailey has to be the correct decision by Australia. He has never looked remotely like a Test player; handy in hit-n-giggle formats but can't cut the mustard when it comes to the real deal.

Looking forward to the series getting underway. It should be a cracker!

Posted by BRUTALANALYST on (January 21, 2014, 21:03 GMT)

I don't agree with this notion I think it's more to do with technique and guys with lesser technique can get away with more in the shorter format. If you have atop technique matched with fast hands a good eye you will do well in all formats look at Rahane or Kohli for perfect example T20 does not ruin technique or batting.

Posted by wapuser on (January 21, 2014, 20:33 GMT)

@xylo why on Earth would it be "ideal" for Clarke to stand down as ODI captain. He's one of the best ODI batsmen in history and and his captaincy is fantastic.

Posted by Matt.au on (January 21, 2014, 20:23 GMT)

I have to wonder if anyone supporting Baileys' continued selection in the team watched the last 5 tests he played in.

Whether it was as he says "I've probably got into some bad habits playing a lot of short form cricket" or his technique outside off is not, and most likely never will be up to scratch, against good fast bowling is problematic.

Why is it unreasonable to drop him for a tour that would have pitted him against the best fast bowling attack in the world when he himself also says "I think I've got some things to work on against good quality fast bowling,"

The notion that Clarke wanted Bailey out of the side because he felt threatened by his leadership skills is laughable.

I'm not sure I have ever seen a captain defend one of his players as staunchly as Clarke defended Bailey when Anderson threatened to punch Bailey.

The idea of George Bailey captaining the test team is about as likely to happen as him flying to the moon.

A good bloke he may be, a test bastman he is not

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 19:16 GMT)

I was hoping Bailey would do well but he wasn't up to the task and his close-in fielding was a mixed bag. But to bring in Shaun Marsh? It's obviously not what you know.....

Posted by xylo on (January 21, 2014, 19:03 GMT)

CA is lucky to have two shrewd captains in Bailey and Clarke. Ideally, Clarke should step down from ODI cricket and Bailey would be the go-to ODI/T20 specialist captain. If BCCI finds some good captain for tests, Dhoni will happily retire from tests in no time.

CA is destroying Bailey's confidence by playing him in tests. His ODI form is very likely to be affected by his Test form now.

Posted by krik8crazy on (January 21, 2014, 17:13 GMT)

Khwaja Fahad has a valid point. Before the series started, Aussies were desperate to inject some new energy into the team. England were favorites, and the Aussie batsmen couldn't make runs to save their lives. Bailey was brought in not only for his batting, but for his leadership skills and positive influence. Now that the series is won, the Aussie selectors have promptly cut him loose. When they get hammered in SA, maybe then they will promptly bring him back.

Posted by py0alb on (January 21, 2014, 16:25 GMT)

Sooner rather than later I think a player either needs to be a specialist test/odi player or a specialist T20/odi player. This definitely applies to batsmen already and will probably soon apply to bowlers as T20 bowling becomes more specialised.

Posted by ahweak on (January 21, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

In Shaun Marsh's case, the selectors are probably hoping and not quite expecting him to perform, particularly when Marsh has had an inconsistent run in the long form.

Posted by HaveYouGotYourBox on (January 21, 2014, 14:36 GMT)

Bailey (average 26.14), had he played for England, would have been 5th on their Test averages list, ahead of Bell, 26.11, and Cook.

Posted by Dashgar on (January 21, 2014, 14:19 GMT)

This has probably been said a million times but why then give Shaun Marsh the spot. He's only made short form runs as well and hasn't done nearly as well as George. The next test batsman should be there based on First Class form. Hopefully Faulkner and Doolan are both ahead of Marsh.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

5 tests, 5 wins, 10 catches in series (second behind Haddin), and a damn fine thinker of the game.

I have no doubt he can break in again. He played his role in the short fielding positions, and he would have been chipping in with a lot of verbals throughout the England innings'. He had been a captain for state and country and he leads by example.

He had the talent, he will come back.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 13:29 GMT)

Can no cricketer ever refer to another by their actual name in the media?

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 13:12 GMT)

People are just not happy with what they have fame,fortune or success.The matter of the fact is Aussies won the Ashes not only won but whitewashed the English .And George Bailey was part of the team which won them the Ashes.Maybe its me who sees it this way but Bailey inclusion in the side brought luck to this Australian side which was sliding away into a fabled fallen legend.He is a very good late order batsmen he can provide acceleration to the innings when needed and can counter attack the opposition and the pressure he exerted on the batsmen and catches he caught at forward short leg were an integral part in the Ashes whitewash.

Posted by CricketMaan on (January 21, 2014, 13:10 GMT)

Short stuff and inspiration - Bailey does not have look beyond Rogers and Hussey for insipration. They defied age and trumped like champions. A lot of fans criticize Indian or sub-continental players inability to handle short stuff, in this Ashes both KP and Bailey who grew up facing a lot heat and short stuff from pace bowlers were exposed. So was Steve Waugh, although he was a stubborn payler with gifted attitude. Any player who has to play short stuff will have short comings, so just to brand one group is unfair, especially if you have played in conditions where ball does not raise above knee levels on Day 1.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 13:00 GMT)

Donot worry Bailey. Take a break, India will be in town in 2014 and then in '15 WC.-:)

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 12:58 GMT)

... Let there be a lesson for every International player - Conquest against India for any player is short lived. Alas!

Posted by jackiethepen on (January 21, 2014, 12:54 GMT)

Would you call Warner a top Test player, NigelW? He averages 40 and has 5 centuries. He's still got a way to go surely? His lack of defensive technique makes him vulnerable to really good bowling. It well may be that he adjusts as he gets older. Fast and furious won't suit all pitches, that's for sure.

Posted by cricketsubh on (January 21, 2014, 12:48 GMT)

pick young players like hughes,maddison,silk,burns,lyne not 30 year and 28 years players like marsh and doolan canot play for australia to long selector need to pick young players and back them .and both marsh and doolan 1st class avg under 40 i donot think they can score runs in SA TUUR i pick fulkner at no6 he is young he can bat and his just 23 he can learn when watto goes he plays as a allrounder in team.

Posted by oscoli67 on (January 21, 2014, 12:46 GMT)

@Meety, you must have missed Bailey's press conference where he said how much pride he had in sending the poms home one by one, referring to Trott, Swann & Finn I assume. He must have temporarily forgotten the old adage that pride comes before a fall. I don't think there's any need to remind him that, do you?

Posted by Sinhabahu on (January 21, 2014, 12:23 GMT)

I guess Bailey's case also goes some way in explaining why most Indian batsmen struggle in overseas Tests as well.

Posted by MrKricket on (January 21, 2014, 12:14 GMT)

If he never plays again he'll have a 100% win record and an average of two catches per Test! Not bad. I'd almost have him in for his fielding.

Marsh is unlikely to do better however.

Posted by Chris_Howard on (January 21, 2014, 11:59 GMT)

Hope the selectors are listening!!! Pick players for Tests based on their form in the long format as in first class and Tests, not one dayers! Blind Freddie and George Bailey know it. Why the hell don't the selectors??

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 11:35 GMT)

Some have commented that George should have been able to adapt but I think we need to remember that Clarke and Warner came into the squads as young players and were given time to adapt. Getting over 30 makes it hard and George has concentrated on being a leader in T20 and India with the ODIs - what a great tour of India as ODI captain he had! It is a shame and due to ODI and T20 roles he has not had that much time to play the longer form of the game and he quickly was thrust into the leadership role in T20 and ODI which did not happen to other players who came in as younger men. In that sense bringing in an Adam Voges or Aaron Finch to the Test arena may have the same issues as George has.

Posted by amfas on (January 21, 2014, 11:02 GMT)

Nice to see all the couch cricketers/selectors are in high spirits. Let's not blame the man, but rather look at where Australian cricket was 12 months ago. Desperate times require desperate measures and I think CA together management, coaching staff etc were all on the same page. "DON'T PANIC. REMEMBER DUNKIRK." Seems they have got over the 1st hurdle of consolidation, let's see how the rest of the race is run!!

Posted by Smithy65 on (January 21, 2014, 10:53 GMT)

Michael Clarke makes a good point - even when he wasn't performing with the bat, it was difficult not to notice how strong a team player he is. E.g. his fielding at short leg showed that he has the hunger to succeed at Test level. Best of luck to him.

Posted by Clyde on (January 21, 2014, 10:41 GMT)

It is rather nasty that one-dayers force batsmen to do things - like hitting in the air - that are suicide in Tests and, it can be argued, in any scale of cricket. It needn't be like this entirely. The Powerplays could be done away with, along with the rationing of overs per bowler and the dictation about where a bowler can bowl. At present, one-dayers are as much like golf as like cricket. They are more or less a new sport. It could be that the Bailey case marks a clear parting of the ways between Tests and one-day cricket. Personally I would welcome this. I have no desire to watch one-dayers. One-dayers are popular, but so is the Ryder Cup. They could afford their own playing fields and own administrations.

Posted by Hrolf on (January 21, 2014, 10:35 GMT)

Sounds to me that he has been talked into believing there is something wrong with his game when there isn't that much, and therefore is trying to play differently in Tests to ODIs. If he'd just played like he has been in ODI (as he did for one innings), he would be fine. Too many theorists in the game telling people how they should bat. Just hope that this episode doesn't muck his ODI game up now.

Posted by BradmanBestEver on (January 21, 2014, 10:32 GMT)

The selectors performed poorly by selecting Bailey for the test team

They chose an over 30 year old player with a poor first class record who had one good one-day series playing on Indian roads to play an Ashes series. Need I say more?

Posted by NigelW on (January 21, 2014, 10:23 GMT)

Not sure he can blame one day batting habits. Look at Warner for a one day batsman who managed to become a top Test batsman without too much adjustment to his technique or shot selection. Every batsman who cannot cut it at Test level likes to blame one day cricket. It's a far too easy excuse for simply not being good enough.

Posted by Meety on (January 21, 2014, 10:04 GMT)

@Dr.Vindaloo on (January 21, 2014, 9:39 GMT) - actually, if you watched any of the Ashes, you would see that Bailey hardly said anything at all! About the only thing you see him doing during any of the confrontations during the series was smile! == == == Oz summer schedule needs to be re-worked (obviously). I think that during an Ashes summer, one way to combat the continuous stuffing around in India in Oct/Nov prior to an Ashes, & then the BBL & then the Feb/March tour is to have the Limited Over Internationals in late November/early December. Start the Shield/Ryobi in early October then start the Ashes early to mid December - squeeze 2 tests in before Xmas, start the BBL after Xmas - let it run right through to near the end of January. Then have One round of Shield cricket before touring. There needs to be FC criteria for going on a Test tour, there was 33 batsmen with better claims to being on the plane than Marsh!

Posted by cccrider on (January 21, 2014, 9:58 GMT)

Michael Hussey pre-turning 30, David Hussey and Brad Hodge are sad stories re: tests non-selection. Bailey isn't.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2014, 9:48 GMT)

hope he doesnt. and when smarsh fails, hopefully the selectors will stop picking test squads based on ODI form and start picking players on the basis of their shield form.

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (January 21, 2014, 9:41 GMT)

i wonder how he 'fell into bad habits' playing ODI cricket. Wasn't he supposed to have strong 'character' ? Should have adapted better. And he had the luxury of 5 continuous matches at home. Should just admit that he is nowhere near good enough.

Posted by ozwriter on (January 21, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

bailey is one of the few players in the squad who is actually quite likeable. what an honest assessment. compare this to hughes, wade and ed cowan, all of whom used media to talk themselves up and then came crashing down..

Posted by Dr.Vindaloo on (January 21, 2014, 9:39 GMT)

On the plus side he certainly looked in good form with his mouth during the Ashes series. Shame he couldn't back up any of the big talk with a performance of note.

Posted by muki_fan on (January 21, 2014, 9:37 GMT)

modern day cricket does reverse, you need to play test cricket then move into ODI which is easier to adapt your success mostly guaranteed. Good luck to Bailey, hope see you soon in white..

Posted by cccrider on (January 21, 2014, 9:35 GMT)

He could spin for a political party. Underachieving Shield player for years, very lucky to get his test spot. Can't take his winning 5 tests away, he should be very happy.

Posted by RajeshNaik on (January 21, 2014, 9:18 GMT)

Honest assessment from a honest player. Hope he wins back his spot in the test team.

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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.
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