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July 11, 2012

Australia in England 2012

Australia sleeps through Bailey's best

Jarrod Kimber
George Bailey's unbeaten 46 helped Australia to a respectable total, England v Australia, 5th ODI, Old Trafford, July 10, 2012
Australia slept through one of George Bailey's finest innings yet for his country  © Getty Images
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Cricket, like watches and clocks, is all about timing. When George Bailey came to the crease batting at No 7 in a rain-affected match in a series that Australia had already been smashed in, while most Aussies were tucked under their doonas, it was a largely pointless innings.

For Bailey, the uncontracted Australian T20 captain who has batted in five different positions in nine ODIs, it was the worst possible time to play what was perhaps his best innings yet for Australia. Australia had slipped to 5/77 off 19.1 overs. Their run rate was comically slow early on, compounded by a glut of middle over wickets, they were playing Duckworth Lewis cricket the exact opposite of how you should.

Australia ended up with a total of 145. After Bailey came in, Australia added 68 runs, Bailey added 46* of them. He did this while batting the last 10 overs with the tail. Waiting until the very end to hit out, he took 19 runs off 9 balls in the last two overs, including a monster six from James Anderson.

Unlike his previous innings in this series, Bailey looked in control of his game, and perhaps without Graeme Swann to hold him down, he found it far easier to score than almost all the Australian batsmen. The way he played with the tail was very clever, and when he decided he needed to hit boundaries, he hit or cleared them. It was exactly what you'd expect from a good quality ODI finisher in hard circumstances.

That the total was only 145 couldn't be blamed on Bailey. And Australia did move the ball around a bit, but like at all times this tour, moving it around was not enough to get through England's top order, and they got home quite easily.

On the social networks Bailey has copped a lot of flak for the way he has batted in this series. Far more flak than someone who averages 40 from nine ODIs probably should receive. In Bailey's short career so far he's been unlucky, not much on the field, but off it.

When he was the surprise selection as T20 captain, it was during a time when he wasn't making runs, and became an easy target. After that he played two very important ODI innings in the Caribbean, but time zones and low scoring pitches didn't truly drum home the importance of them.

The one innings that Bailey did play while Australians were awake and watching the TV was his scratchy 50 at the Oval. It was an innings where he fought back well, although he needed to after batting himself into a really deep hole early on.

This innings of 46* should repair his reputation, but I doubt it will. Those who don't rate him won't count this knock in a dead-rubber, sub-par total as anything special. Most will only see 46* on a scorecard and forget it minutes later. Hopefully the few who did see it will think of this innings as something worth getting off George Bailey's back for.

At least for the time being.

Jarrod Kimber is 50% of the Two Chucks, and the mind responsible for cricketwithballs.com

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Posted by Srie on (August 2, 2012, 4:32 GMT)

It doeesn't alyaws end with a winner though. If the final is washed out for two days in a row in this competition, the finalists become joint winners. I await your analysis of what sort of climax, in both senses of the word, that is!

Posted by Abu on (July 16, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

Bailey in future wil play akey role in aus bat line up

Posted by bobagorof on (July 13, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

I think Australia need to address Forrest's position before looking at Bailey. While Bailey did score very slowly at the start of his innings at The Oval (and probably contributed to Watson's wicket at the other end as he tried to compensate), he at least stuck it out and came good in the latter overs. Forrest has done not much at all either side of his 100 against Sri Lanka in February, and ended up with a grand total of 15 runs (from 45 balls) against England.

Posted by knackers on (July 13, 2012, 0:19 GMT)

For mine Bailey hadn't done a great deal to warrant selection in the ODI side going off what I had read and seen of him at home here in Aus, but after watching him play in both the tour of the windies and now England, I can see him starting to shape up and become used to each situation and the respective pressure placed on him. Sure, he might've had a few dud starts here & there but he's heads & tails in front of other blokes picked so far (I'M LOOKING STRAIGHT AT YOU STEVEN SMITH).

Posted by Raj on (July 12, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

I would say George Bailey is a sureshot at the Test level at Number 6,because he is SOLID as a ROCK. In ODIs,I would place him at Number 4 after Ricky Ponting at Number 3 (hope he is recalled,because Peter Forrest is a disappointment),and before Michasel Clarke at Number 5, followed by Mike Hussey at Number 6.Wade at 7.

Posted by Meety on (July 12, 2012, 1:04 GMT)

I admit I have never been a fan of Bailey's. I still do not believe he should be in the T20 side - let alone captain. That all being said, I did note his 2 decent knocks (in relative terms they were excellent), in the WIndies, & I could not believe how much criticism he got for his slow 50 early in the series v England. There is a good arguement he should never of been in our ODI side, which is countered by the arguements for experience, I think he is exceeding his ability in ODIs atm, but I think he has put forward an excellent case for a possible test call up. In my mind he is well & truely ahead of Forrest now! After 9 games, there aren't many Oz batsmen who have had better stats than Bailey's.

Posted by Julien Cahn on (July 11, 2012, 20:12 GMT)

George Bailey is a class act. I am a pom living in Australia and I did see both his innings at The Oval and his knock at Old Trafford. Quite honestly he is one of only a few bright sparks in a dismal tour. Clarke will always be a class batsman, Warner flatters to deceive, Wade might come good, but not as an opener and McKay has once again proved a mean and attacking bowler. There seems to be little else in the cupboard. . . .Unless some extraordinary talent appears quickly I fear for this team next year.

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