November 2, 2013

Is George Bailey a Test No. 6?

48

Has Bailey done enough to walk into the Test side? Surely not
Has Bailey done enough to walk into the Test side? Surely not © BCCI

George Bailey? Good fellah. Perhaps even a top fellah: popular among the boys, technically a fine batsman, a standout leader of men. Without question Bailey is what Australians would call a "good bloke", and there is little higher compliment in the Australian lingua franca.

So good is he going that (if we are to believe the jibber-jabber hot from the popular presses) Bailey is Australia's next Test No. 6. And good luck to him. As stated: good bloke. Yet Bailey's credentials as a Test batsman are, as Marge Simpson would say: Hmmmmmm. His numbers in terms of Test cricket do not stack up.

I mean, good luck to him. He's a likeable man in a fine vein of form. In his last five innings he has scored 474 runs at 118.50. His strike rate in these games is also 118.50. In his international one-day career he has scored 1535 runs at 56.85, strike rate of 92.74. Truly fine numbers. And you aren't ratcheting them up unless you're seeing the ball like a golden orb of Satan. Something like it.

But what weight of these runs? Are you the Test No. 6 because of runs on flat Indian fun run factories? Should this happy-hitting be weighted equally with patient, tough, long-form runs on wickets that nibble about or leap off a length? Wickets that ask questions of batsmen more difficult than "Where should I belt this?"

Of course the answer is no. Because the difference between the Gabba on a sultry day one and a billiards table in Nagpur by night is akin to the dichotomy of Men are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. That being: there is no comparing these things. They are incomparable.

That's not true, they are a bit comparable. To score a mother lode of runs in one-day cricket you have got to be doing something right. You have to be batting well, seeing it well; confident of your technique and your mindset, and all that.

But swatting full tosses out of Nagpur is no indication of a batsman's ability to see off James Anderson's outswingers or Stuey Broad's heat. It's just not. And Bailey's work in first-class cricket is not sensational. He averages 38. Last season he averaged 18. He bats mostly on Tasmania's home ground, Bellerive, which is not a green mamba, but is green. Just green.

On Bellerive you have to get in and see off the quicks. Ed Cowan did it so well for a while that he earned a spot opening in Australia's Test team. For Bellerive tested Cowan just as it tests others. And technique and temperament have to stand up against quick bowlers who like what they see.

Bailey averages 57 in international one-day cricket. These are serious numbers. But it's quite a long way from 57 in Test cricket

But the deck in Nagpur? The deck in Jaipur? Very good for one-day cricket. A welter of runs. And happy days for fans and administrators and television types who want 100 overs of big-bash action. But as preparation for Test cricket in Australia, Bailey may as well have played mahjong.

Look, again, top fellah, George Bailey. A sunny good egg. No shortage of courage, work ethic and what-have-you. I would have him as a golfing partner and tell people this: Bails? Good bloke. Perhaps even a top bloke.

But the Test No. 6? Swatting full tosses on cricket grounds shorn like skinhead sheep? No. Sorry, George Bailey. But you averaged 18 in the Sheffield Shield last season, and you can't average 18 and walk into the Australian Test cricket team, can you?

Surely even massive ODI numbers aren't prep for Anderson on a sultry day one in Brisbane. Test match cricket and ODI cricket… look, blokes can play both forms. If you're very good at batting, chances are you can bat in Test and short-form. One day I do hope "Big Show" Maxwell bats six for Australia and kills 'em. Good times.

Bailey averages 57 in international one-day cricket. These are serious numbers. But it's quite a long way from 57 in Test cricket. Men who have averaged 57 or better in Test cricket include Don Bradman, Graeme Pollock, Garfield Sobers and Wally Hammond. The super freaks.

Virat Kohli? What a ripper: 17 centuries in 112 innings, the quickest man to that number of tons ever, better than Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Saeed Anwar. And good luck to him. But Test runs in Australia or England or South Africa are surely the mark of a batsman. And Virat and Bails would agree.

I dunno. Look, they can only see ball, hit ball. And do it wherever required. But the pitches in this one-day series in India, well, they make batting easy. That's right: easy. And if you're scoring a century on these decks it means you can concentrate and do the same thing every ball: hit it.

Matt Cleary writes for several Australian sports and travel magazines. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dangertroy on November 3, 2013, 3:18 GMT

    This article makes some good points. Then repeats them half a dozen times over. Good writing. Top writing even, some might say.

    The credential to be the test number six should be quite simple: Is Bailey in the top six batsmen in the country? On form, I think the answer is yes. I don't think ODI form translates to test runs, but Bailey averages almost 20 more in ODIS than he does in List A. His FC average is slightly better than his List A average. He has international experience and know how to step up for a big game.

    When he came into the side he was derided for being picked as a captain first, and not as a batsman. He couldn't score fast enough and wasn't a big hitter. Now he is a flat-track bully, and only a slogger. Please. He had a bad season in FC cricket last season, a season when he was a pre-occupied with big bash, captaining the T20I squad and playing ODI cricket. A season when no-one else distinguished themselves.

    He may fail, but he has earned a chance.

  • on November 2, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    In a perfect world, especially in world when AUS were the dominant test team & you had batsmen scoring heavily in shield cricket during the 90s & early 2000s - you would pick players for test after they have really dominated in 4-day cricket.

    This is not the reality of AUS cricket at the moment however.

    AUS test team is still struggling and the first-class system isn't producing the kind of batting talent which once prevented Stuart Law, Jamie Cox, Jamie Siddons from having long test careers due to the competition.

    Thus due this paucity in batting talent, Bailey international ODI form HAS to earn him a test call up without question, despite his iffy first-class record. If it is he plays tests & can't adapt to the format, then AUS batting would be in an even bigger hole, because there isn't too many other batsmen in shield cricket currently that are demanding a place.

  • ThinkingCricket on November 2, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    This is a tough one, you are both right and wrong. The thing is you seem to be equating ODI's with "Easy Mode" and Test Cricket with testing batting conditions. This isn't necessarily true. Obviously these Indian conditions are tailor-made for batting and there's no way around it, but this isn't somehow exclusive to ODI's. These grounds also result in mammoth scores during first-class matches. There's a reason Ravindra Jadeja's Triple Centuries became the subject of jokes. The fact that it isn't limited overs doesn't automatically make it difficult; on the contrary, it's a lot easier because you can bat forever (as Ed Cowan loves to do). You are right that it isn't the same skillset; ODI's require you to be good at playing good strokes regularly, Tests require you to absolutely eliminate errors. These are very different skill-sets, but anyone capable of those numbers has the baseline talent, and Bailey has character enough to think he can tough it out. He's your man.

  • on November 6, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Sorry but there is a big difference between scoring runs on a flat deck in India against a poor bowling attack and facing a top class England bowling line up on fast wickets. Bailey needs to score big runs in his few remaining long games before the Ashes. CA has not helped by scheduling a nothing ODI tour to India. In fact CA could give away iced water in a desert.

  • on November 5, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    You forget he averaged 50 in Shield cricket the season before last

  • on November 5, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    He also made runs in England when australia won the series recently. I stronglbelieve you can only play the bowlers in the parkk. He played the bowlers he came up against in the conditions that were the same for Hughes, Finch, Henriques, Haddin were up against. He made a lot more runs than all these batsmen put together. Finch started well and lost his way in the middle. It takes something to score consistently, whatever the conditions or the qualityof the bowling. If he makes some runs in australia , he is my man. I think australlia have made many failed experiments over the last few years. They are still trying to discover the magic formula. What that formula is, no one knows including the selectors. But Bailey is experienced ,mature and should be given a chance sometime in the series. Ramanujam sridhar

  • Sunil_Batra on November 5, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    I an hoping Maddinson (opening with a SR of 50-60) and Khawaja make BIG ones this round to shut a few up. Also Faulkner and Cuttg to get a few to lock them in and Boyce, Zampa and Ahmed to rip a few.I predict Bailey will bomb and Johnson will do well. .The wild guess is Warner. Khawaja getting bagged for one failure but Warner's two failures below the radar. I am still tipping Khawaja to come in at 3 and Faulkner or Moses will get the allrounder berth What if Warner bombs again?

  • Mitty2 on November 5, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    @wellrounded87, Haddin did not fluff up any chances from Lyon in the Ashes... I don't think he did in India either... Agree on Wade though - Lyon should be averaging under 30!

    Haddin gets plaudits from everyone as he gets a world record for most dismissals by a keeper. Keeps extraordinarily with the exception of one crucial dropped catch off Root. Haddin absolutely smashes Prior comparatively in the series. Haddin has a very good record against Eng. Haddin got out at least three times last series trying to score quickly - Prior didn't once and still averaged 19. Haddin's a no nonsense cricketer and a good leader. Haddin almost won us the Trent Bridge test. Enough? Paine and Hartley certainly don't have it over Haddin to deserve selection.

  • Mitty2 on November 5, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Leadership, unifying figure, has class, adapts to the different situations, there's no one in Australian cricket in better form, successful record captaining for Tas, everyone failed last year, courageous and of course, averaged over 50 two years ago in the Shield, we used to develop players from ODIs, the selecting from FC form hasn't worked for Hughes, khawaja and cowan, and of course, he's a good bloke. All those points plus dangertroy's points. He has to be, and will be in the test team. Unless Doolan decides to absolutely dominate the Aus A game.

  • wellrounded87 on November 4, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    The article makes a very good point. But his ODI form also makes a strong case for selection especially considering he was getting runs in England as well not just on the Indian flat tracks.

    But his abysmal first class record is very worrying and his even worse record at the gabba is greater cause for concern. He's playing the next shield match i think if he fails he shouldn't be considered however if he gets a decent score and looks good doing so i think he should be selected and if Watson isn't fit play him at 3 and Faulkner at 6.

    Side Note Tim Paine or Chris Hartley should be our keeper. Both are better glovemen than Haddin, Paine is a better batsmen and Hartleys form with the bat recently has been good. Both make a much better selection than Haddin. I know Nathan Lyon would certainly appreciate these selections, between Wade and Haddin, Lyon's missed out on about 15 wickets.

  • Dangertroy on November 3, 2013, 3:18 GMT

    This article makes some good points. Then repeats them half a dozen times over. Good writing. Top writing even, some might say.

    The credential to be the test number six should be quite simple: Is Bailey in the top six batsmen in the country? On form, I think the answer is yes. I don't think ODI form translates to test runs, but Bailey averages almost 20 more in ODIS than he does in List A. His FC average is slightly better than his List A average. He has international experience and know how to step up for a big game.

    When he came into the side he was derided for being picked as a captain first, and not as a batsman. He couldn't score fast enough and wasn't a big hitter. Now he is a flat-track bully, and only a slogger. Please. He had a bad season in FC cricket last season, a season when he was a pre-occupied with big bash, captaining the T20I squad and playing ODI cricket. A season when no-one else distinguished themselves.

    He may fail, but he has earned a chance.

  • on November 2, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    In a perfect world, especially in world when AUS were the dominant test team & you had batsmen scoring heavily in shield cricket during the 90s & early 2000s - you would pick players for test after they have really dominated in 4-day cricket.

    This is not the reality of AUS cricket at the moment however.

    AUS test team is still struggling and the first-class system isn't producing the kind of batting talent which once prevented Stuart Law, Jamie Cox, Jamie Siddons from having long test careers due to the competition.

    Thus due this paucity in batting talent, Bailey international ODI form HAS to earn him a test call up without question, despite his iffy first-class record. If it is he plays tests & can't adapt to the format, then AUS batting would be in an even bigger hole, because there isn't too many other batsmen in shield cricket currently that are demanding a place.

  • ThinkingCricket on November 2, 2013, 22:37 GMT

    This is a tough one, you are both right and wrong. The thing is you seem to be equating ODI's with "Easy Mode" and Test Cricket with testing batting conditions. This isn't necessarily true. Obviously these Indian conditions are tailor-made for batting and there's no way around it, but this isn't somehow exclusive to ODI's. These grounds also result in mammoth scores during first-class matches. There's a reason Ravindra Jadeja's Triple Centuries became the subject of jokes. The fact that it isn't limited overs doesn't automatically make it difficult; on the contrary, it's a lot easier because you can bat forever (as Ed Cowan loves to do). You are right that it isn't the same skillset; ODI's require you to be good at playing good strokes regularly, Tests require you to absolutely eliminate errors. These are very different skill-sets, but anyone capable of those numbers has the baseline talent, and Bailey has character enough to think he can tough it out. He's your man.

  • on November 6, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Sorry but there is a big difference between scoring runs on a flat deck in India against a poor bowling attack and facing a top class England bowling line up on fast wickets. Bailey needs to score big runs in his few remaining long games before the Ashes. CA has not helped by scheduling a nothing ODI tour to India. In fact CA could give away iced water in a desert.

  • on November 5, 2013, 22:28 GMT

    You forget he averaged 50 in Shield cricket the season before last

  • on November 5, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    He also made runs in England when australia won the series recently. I stronglbelieve you can only play the bowlers in the parkk. He played the bowlers he came up against in the conditions that were the same for Hughes, Finch, Henriques, Haddin were up against. He made a lot more runs than all these batsmen put together. Finch started well and lost his way in the middle. It takes something to score consistently, whatever the conditions or the qualityof the bowling. If he makes some runs in australia , he is my man. I think australlia have made many failed experiments over the last few years. They are still trying to discover the magic formula. What that formula is, no one knows including the selectors. But Bailey is experienced ,mature and should be given a chance sometime in the series. Ramanujam sridhar

  • Sunil_Batra on November 5, 2013, 8:05 GMT

    I an hoping Maddinson (opening with a SR of 50-60) and Khawaja make BIG ones this round to shut a few up. Also Faulkner and Cuttg to get a few to lock them in and Boyce, Zampa and Ahmed to rip a few.I predict Bailey will bomb and Johnson will do well. .The wild guess is Warner. Khawaja getting bagged for one failure but Warner's two failures below the radar. I am still tipping Khawaja to come in at 3 and Faulkner or Moses will get the allrounder berth What if Warner bombs again?

  • Mitty2 on November 5, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    @wellrounded87, Haddin did not fluff up any chances from Lyon in the Ashes... I don't think he did in India either... Agree on Wade though - Lyon should be averaging under 30!

    Haddin gets plaudits from everyone as he gets a world record for most dismissals by a keeper. Keeps extraordinarily with the exception of one crucial dropped catch off Root. Haddin absolutely smashes Prior comparatively in the series. Haddin has a very good record against Eng. Haddin got out at least three times last series trying to score quickly - Prior didn't once and still averaged 19. Haddin's a no nonsense cricketer and a good leader. Haddin almost won us the Trent Bridge test. Enough? Paine and Hartley certainly don't have it over Haddin to deserve selection.

  • Mitty2 on November 5, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Leadership, unifying figure, has class, adapts to the different situations, there's no one in Australian cricket in better form, successful record captaining for Tas, everyone failed last year, courageous and of course, averaged over 50 two years ago in the Shield, we used to develop players from ODIs, the selecting from FC form hasn't worked for Hughes, khawaja and cowan, and of course, he's a good bloke. All those points plus dangertroy's points. He has to be, and will be in the test team. Unless Doolan decides to absolutely dominate the Aus A game.

  • wellrounded87 on November 4, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    The article makes a very good point. But his ODI form also makes a strong case for selection especially considering he was getting runs in England as well not just on the Indian flat tracks.

    But his abysmal first class record is very worrying and his even worse record at the gabba is greater cause for concern. He's playing the next shield match i think if he fails he shouldn't be considered however if he gets a decent score and looks good doing so i think he should be selected and if Watson isn't fit play him at 3 and Faulkner at 6.

    Side Note Tim Paine or Chris Hartley should be our keeper. Both are better glovemen than Haddin, Paine is a better batsmen and Hartleys form with the bat recently has been good. Both make a much better selection than Haddin. I know Nathan Lyon would certainly appreciate these selections, between Wade and Haddin, Lyon's missed out on about 15 wickets.

  • TestOfTime on November 4, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    Hmm Matt Cleary, did you start writing the article-go to sleep -and restart the same thing from para 2? You seem to be repeating yourself. Anway, besides the point. Shield cricket must be a benchmark, but not the only thing. Otherwise, why have selectors? Just choose the top 6 players in shield cricket based on average and draft them into the test team... sounds logical? It does by your article. The thing is every batsman goes through phases of good and bad form. Bailey with this confidence level could play in Shield cricket and score heavily.. since he is in good form NOW. The selectors are taking a gamble, which could pay off. Else they can always go back to the 'best-ave-in-shield-cricket formula

  • ScottStevo on November 4, 2013, 18:41 GMT

    @Fleming_Mitch, What's the point in bringing in someone just because they bowl a bit? The problem with Henriques is that he doesn't warrant selection as a batsman who we can get a few overs from, nor a bowler who we might get a few runs from. For that reason, he shouldn't be in the team. Watson gives our side balance because we are/can select him as a batsman who we know can do a good job with the ball. If he's unable to play, then we select a batsman and use guys like Warner and Smith - maybe even Clarke himself - to break it up and hope for the best. Also, there's no point in selecting a player just in case one gets injured. That's just plain ridiculous.

  • heathrf1974 on November 4, 2013, 14:05 GMT

    If he scores runs in first class cricket then yes, if not then no.

  • jokerbala on November 4, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    any Batsman worth his salt will tell you batting well is not about the swinging ball /spinning ball ,seaming ball/ pitch/ lights /grounds , it is about one key word - that is "confidence". Bailey and Warner seem to have loads of this after their recent exploits albeit in tailor made conditions.I remember Sehwag in his pomp proved a lot of people wrong when he had a moderately successful New Zealand tour on green tops against Rampaging Bond and co. May be Bailey will do the same , may be not who is to say.

  • Amith_S on November 4, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    What has Bailey done in longer form cricket over the past year worries me. He finished last year's Shield season with an average of 18. He went on to county cricket and played for the second division side Hampshire. He averaged under 38 with them. This is his most recent longer form performances and you're promoting him to a test team because he's good at the pyjama game. Selections based purely on one day fixtures is an error many times displayed by these selectors , because they are very different types of games. Like horses some players are sprinters and some stayers and very occasionally some can do both. Guys like Klinger and Khawaja must be considered for 3 if Watson is injurd as they are better red ball players and we need good red ball players

  • Sunil_Batra on November 4, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    If Watson can't bowl that still causes the same problems. We are talking about the struggle of replacing Watson with just a batsman(i.e Khawaja) and losing his bowling, if Watson was able to bat (and he showed significant pain in the little bit of batting he did in that match anyway) then the selectors would still likely want to look at somehow getting another pace bowling option in the squad. My gut feel is that if Khawaja scores well in the Aus A game then he will come in at 3 and we will get an allrounder in at Bailey's expense.

  • Flemo_Gilly on November 4, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    I'd probably go for Henriques as our allrounder, but if Watson is out then I think we need to include Henriques given how fragile Harris can be. Ideally i'd love to bring in Khawaja as his replacement as he is a solid top order batsman and belongs at the top level but we need to ensure we have enough bowling. This injury really has thrown up a lot of selection questions, lets hope he is alright though.

    Here's the team i'd go for if Watson is out.

    1 Rogers 2 Warner 3 Khawaja 4 Clarke 5 Smith 6 Henriques 7 Haddin 8 Faulkner 9 Harris 10 Siddle 11 Lyon

  • on November 4, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    I find it odd that the discussion of Bailey focuses exclusively on this India series. He started this run of big scores in England, and before THAT he had a great home Summer. It's not he's only just started scoring in ODIs this month.

  • Mary_786 on November 4, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Bailey needs to score shield runs, that's the only way you get into the test side and i am behind all our batsman to hope he does. I think if Watson is out, or his bowling limited, it is a fatal blow that Australia cannot recover from.With him arguably being the best defensive/holding bowler in world cricket, that would allow the inclusion of an attack minder bowler like johnson or Cutting. If he is out, there is no replacement for his defensive dexterity with ball in hand and how he completes the attack. In his absence, that role will fall more on the likes of Lyon….From the batting side of things, we will need a solid top order batsman with either Khawaja or Doolan coming in. Khawaja was in great form in Ryobi getting a match winning 100 in the final and got a dubious lbw call in the last sheild game and Doolan batted well in the last game. It will come down to the Aus A game and that should be exciting. For the allrounders Faulkner and Henriques are my tips.

  • on November 4, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    oh I am not too sure about that. Yes his ODI form is amazing. But likes of yuvi, kholo and to an extent raina made test debuts based on ODI form. While yuvi and raina have been ordinary, kholi is yet to score consistently (although he has shown hunger to improve). I would prefer picking for Aus A game. If he does well then he is in the team otherwise no. However, as series progresses he would continue to be on the radar. So if a player is under performing and bailey does well then he can replace him. Regarding no-6, we should worry about top 3 first. Only rogers looks good. Cowan was harshly dropped. he should be back in as opener. Having said that bailey does rotate strike well, so I would much rather have him instead of likes of hughes, khawaja and even warner - who are absolutely horrific against spin. But I prefer having 5 bowlers instead of having a specialist no 6, considering u already have siddle, pattinson, starc,harris and johnson who can bat.

  • pitch_curator on November 4, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    How many did Gilchrist score in shield cricket before he got a chance in test cricket? Or was he picked because of his ODI scores?

  • MinusZero on November 4, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    Test sides should not be picked on ODI performances. They are not directly related to tests. Watson is the case in point. Good ODI player, very average test player. Just because Bailey was tonking them all over the place in India, doesnt mean he will in tests. Lets face it, the Indians were tonking them everywhere as well. The tiny ground probably skewed the batting performances. Test selections should only be based on First class games. Warner was picked based on ODI and T20...where is he now?

  • on November 4, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    Ok so Bailey had a bad last first class season. But he has picked his form up and his average of 38 aren't that bad. He has nearly 6000runs and 14 hundreds to fall back on remember. There aren't any other batsmen other than hughes that have a better average and similar high scores. Bailey also averages 53 in ODI cricket against England remember. So he has played against Anderson and broad and done well. 4 fifty plus scores in 9 innings against them and a 46no. He deserves the chance more than anyone else as he has had quality exposure to international cricket and the pressure that comes with it. Count in the fact he has been a great t20 captain and stand in ODI captain. Give him a chance before you say he's not good enough. We need his experience right now.

  • Paul_Rampley on November 4, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    I think as an allrounder Faulner is the obvious answer if Watson if unfit and Khawaja is the answer at 3 if Watson can't bat there.If given time both test guys will paly like they belongs there and will be the first to put his hand up and rip in with a very competitive attitud…why would you not give both these guys a go

  • Mary_786 on November 4, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    I would play 4 quicks and use Steve Smith as our Spinner, he took more wickets than Lyon or Agar in England anyway, also want to see Tim Paine get a run after the ashes but keep Haddin for the ashes as he was brillian in England and I am not a Tasmanian and I would like to see Bailey get some red ball runs before he comes into the team as Chappell's comments were very relevant. My team: 1. Rogers 2. Warner 3. Khawaja 4. Clarke 5. Smith 6. Henriques/Faulkner 7. Paine 8. Faulkner 9. Johnson 10. Siddle 11. Harris

  • PENlS on November 4, 2013, 2:38 GMT

    he's seeing the ball beautifully, scoring heavily, has a good head on his shoulders and must be chocka block full of confidence. That alone is enough reason to pick him considering no-one else is putting their hand up.

  • knownothingaboutcricket on November 4, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Test match selection is all about having class and/or form. Unless you are someone of the class of Hayden, Ponting, Waugh-that's different. There are none of that class who are currently knocking for that position at No.6 in the Aussie lineup. So, why not pick the guy who's in the " form of his life " -the red hot "in form " guy? That's George Bailey. Someone may argue what about Glenn Maxwell? Glenn Maxwell, to my mind , should be the 2nd choice-should Bailey fail. Of course there could be others like Cameron White/Moses Henriques etc but I'm quite sure if Bailey gets a chance and can translate even half of his current ODI form ( don't forget -that he had a smashing ODI series in Engalnd in 2013 where he took on this Eng attack minus Anderson & Swann ), Australia may be well on their way to a winning start in the Ashes and set the tone for the rest of the series.

  • TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on November 3, 2013, 23:37 GMT

    This article nails it. I have never believed Bailey was a test standard batsman, and picking him will be just another error in a long string of errors by these selectors.

  • Ms.Cricket on November 3, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    Not only should Bailey be in the team but he should also be captain. Let's face the facts - Clarke may be a mighty good Test batsman but as a captain in any form he is poor. Even Ricky Ponting agrees. Losses to SAF at home, 0-4 in India, 0-3 in England, even NSW lost to Tas from a good postion last weekend. The Test team for the Gabba should be Watson, Rogers, Khwaja, Clarke, SSmith, Bailey (c), Haddin, Faulkner, Siddlem Harris and Lyon.

  • on November 3, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    Well he's playing this week in first class and then the squad's being announced so we won't have long to find out.

    Hey picking the test team based on limited over form worked out pretty well for us in India a few months back, why not try it again?

  • wix99 on November 3, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    Remember Michael Bevan? He was one of the finest one day batsmen ever, but he never translated that into the same level of performance in Test cricket.

  • cnksnk on November 3, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    I am fairly amused at this discussion on Bailey. To me he is a batsmen in red hot form. Has played in front of large crowds and by all fair assesment lead the team well. The team looks to be enjoying his leadeship which is more than what one can say under Clark. Also let us really bench mark his 38 FC average againsg some of the others. Rogers, good temperament and all is all about 1 century. Warner is nce in 10 innings player. Watto, is one with potential but chooses to hide it very well and show cases once n a series. Clark, does any one know if his back will last the entire duration. Smith is just startng his run. Lesser said about Hughes, Cowen thebetter. While a number of name are being tossed around, no one with any confidence is backing any of the others to succeed, usman, callum etc. To me Bailey is a shoo in and also a back up for Clark's back. In fact I may even be tempted to try him at 3.

  • japper on November 3, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    The best no. 6 for Australia at this time is Glenn Maxwell. He averages a shade under 40 in First class cricket which is pretty decent, is a fine player of both Spin and Fast bowling, and is in very good form and most importantly plays fearless cricket

  • Sir_Ivor on November 3, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    I have no doubt at all that George Bailey will become as integral to the Australian batting lineup as Mr Cricket Michael Hussey was once. He is not just a 'good bloke' but is on the verge of a brilliant test career. He has the technique and hunger to score big and most importantly,the wisdom to be of great value to Clarke.

  • on November 3, 2013, 13:46 GMT

    England will be happy to see somebody with his recent first class record in the test team. morgan was picked for England on a similar basis, yhe challenges are different and it is a risk. if you are a hard grafting fitst class cricketer in Australia being ignored on this basis might be wondering why bother.

  • on November 3, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    I quite like the idea, to be honest. He's proven his temperament and technique in ODIs and his FC average isn't at all bad. Granted, what the selectors would like more than anything is a vast swathe of young batsmen forcing their way through a fiercely competitive FC circuit through sheer weight of runs. The fact is, though, that they don't really have that at the minute, so maybe going for grit, determination and technique can make up for glittering talent. It worked for England in a similar period; Vaughan, Trescothick and Strauss were all picked on this basis.

  • on November 3, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    I don't see any problem with the inclusion of Bailey in the test team. Just look what phil huges, haddin did on India tour, even on batting paradise they failed. If they are on the test squad what's the problem with bailey?? why shouldn't he?? Even his form is better than Watson these days. he's a man full of confident & can inject energy to the team. Rather than picking struggling huges or khwaja just go for in form bailey, even his quick 60-70 could help the team.

  • DaisonGarvasis on November 3, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    Yeah, but then Mike Hussey was not considered to be much of a name for Test Cricket until he actually played Test Cricket, was he? From what I saw of Bailey, he was playing proper cricketing shots in those innings. The author himself says Bailey's got good technique. That is couple of Boxes ticked. Now, the main box remaining is the "temperment box" to play long innings at different situations and conditions. He was the Captain of AUS ODI side and led the very well (did not crumble under pressure). That's tempting to tick the temperment box as well. Its not that current Australian batting line up is filled with Hayden, Ponting, Gilly and co. The guys in the batting line up lost them the Ashes remember? Bailey has ticked two and half boxes and very good chance that the critics will tick the remaining half of the box after he play in Test Cricket. Give the guy a chance.

  • arun_padmanabhan on November 3, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    'But Test runs in Australia or England or South Africa are surely the mark of a batsman'..Seriously? Runs in testing conditions matter, no matter where the match is played! By making such a statement , you are coming out either as ignorant or arrogant! You seem to be arguing that playing spin is either easy or doesnt matter!! Given that the current odi series was played on roads , not all the pitches here are outright flat. Take the India-Pak series early this year or the India-Eng test series..KP's 186 in Mumbai was an extra-ordinary innings. Or for that matter , look at the Pak-SA series in UAE now Hopefully , you change your mindset or atleast tell us how you arrived at such a statement. Because i , for one, can't figure it out!

  • xtrafalgarx on November 3, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    The sad truth is, even if he averages 38 in test cricket, it's still a lot better than a lot of our blokes are doing anyway! He certainly won't lower the standards we have nowadays.....Put him at no.6 already will ya?

  • Raju_guide on November 3, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    I like Matt Cleary's folksy writing style. But can't say the same about his objectivity. Matt focuses on GB's recent performance in India and reminds us of his low average in the last Sheffield Shield season. But he doesn't even mention GB's exploits in England a few months back. If the Australian selectors can disregard a talent personified by GB, then surely there are only 2 possibilities: Australia is blessed with batsmen better than GB or they are plain blind. And given the team's recent record, I don't think we can say that Australia is blessed with batting riches these days. Let's give George his due. Nice blokes can finish first!!

  • on November 3, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    interesting to watch is INDIA VS WEST INDIES..dedicated only to sachin ramesh tendulkar..ASHES returns , england tour of australia.. and then india tour of south africa . george bailey deserve a chance for test team. atleast to bat at no.5 just after micheal clark.. surely australian batting was not upto mark in the ashes .. as ashton agar is not going to hit century for you everytime :)

  • SRRY on November 3, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    They allowed Hussey to retire - and Symonds and Bevan and Katich and Dave Hussey and now Bailey is not allowed to play - they don't take good care of the gem in Shane Watson - CA is a crazy nation. They do the same with their bowlers.

  • on November 2, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    Bailey has been hiting the ball very well, I think that Australia should give him a run in test. look at it who in Australia except Clarke has more form than Bailey. Bailey seem to be cool headed and look mentally strong. He is not a tipical Australian cricketer that sledges and show aggressions for the wrong reasons. He uses and consume that energy in a gentleman fashion.

  • on November 2, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    I don't value success in ODIs that much. I agree with a lot of things Cleary has said here. However, Australia's current batsmen have been performing horribly in test cricket. Bailey has done well in England and Australia in the shorter format, where pitches aren't as flat as the ones in India. There may be a place of Bailey in the Australian line-up for the Ashes. There is a strong chance of him not doing well with the bat, but he should be given a chance, at least. That's my opinion.

  • on November 2, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    You seriously believe that Kohli is a see ball hit ball batsman. I thought that was apt for Sehwag. By the way Kohli has a decent test record as well. just needs time to prove himself.

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on November 2, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    Don't think so Matt. 38 first class average is decent and last season was last season. He's in form and brings a lot to the setup. He also captains Australia. Pick him and let's see.

  • fahad_pakistani on November 2, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    very well written article. i believe clarke shud play as an ordinary batsman in the aus odi team. bailey shud b made permanent skipper.

  • fahad_pakistani on November 2, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    very well written article. i believe clarke shud play as an ordinary batsman in the aus odi team. bailey shud b made permanent skipper.

  • Front-Foot-Sponge on November 2, 2013, 17:12 GMT

    Don't think so Matt. 38 first class average is decent and last season was last season. He's in form and brings a lot to the setup. He also captains Australia. Pick him and let's see.

  • on November 2, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    You seriously believe that Kohli is a see ball hit ball batsman. I thought that was apt for Sehwag. By the way Kohli has a decent test record as well. just needs time to prove himself.

  • on November 2, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    I don't value success in ODIs that much. I agree with a lot of things Cleary has said here. However, Australia's current batsmen have been performing horribly in test cricket. Bailey has done well in England and Australia in the shorter format, where pitches aren't as flat as the ones in India. There may be a place of Bailey in the Australian line-up for the Ashes. There is a strong chance of him not doing well with the bat, but he should be given a chance, at least. That's my opinion.

  • on November 2, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    Bailey has been hiting the ball very well, I think that Australia should give him a run in test. look at it who in Australia except Clarke has more form than Bailey. Bailey seem to be cool headed and look mentally strong. He is not a tipical Australian cricketer that sledges and show aggressions for the wrong reasons. He uses and consume that energy in a gentleman fashion.

  • SRRY on November 3, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    They allowed Hussey to retire - and Symonds and Bevan and Katich and Dave Hussey and now Bailey is not allowed to play - they don't take good care of the gem in Shane Watson - CA is a crazy nation. They do the same with their bowlers.

  • on November 3, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    interesting to watch is INDIA VS WEST INDIES..dedicated only to sachin ramesh tendulkar..ASHES returns , england tour of australia.. and then india tour of south africa . george bailey deserve a chance for test team. atleast to bat at no.5 just after micheal clark.. surely australian batting was not upto mark in the ashes .. as ashton agar is not going to hit century for you everytime :)

  • Raju_guide on November 3, 2013, 4:19 GMT

    I like Matt Cleary's folksy writing style. But can't say the same about his objectivity. Matt focuses on GB's recent performance in India and reminds us of his low average in the last Sheffield Shield season. But he doesn't even mention GB's exploits in England a few months back. If the Australian selectors can disregard a talent personified by GB, then surely there are only 2 possibilities: Australia is blessed with batsmen better than GB or they are plain blind. And given the team's recent record, I don't think we can say that Australia is blessed with batting riches these days. Let's give George his due. Nice blokes can finish first!!

  • xtrafalgarx on November 3, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    The sad truth is, even if he averages 38 in test cricket, it's still a lot better than a lot of our blokes are doing anyway! He certainly won't lower the standards we have nowadays.....Put him at no.6 already will ya?

  • arun_padmanabhan on November 3, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    'But Test runs in Australia or England or South Africa are surely the mark of a batsman'..Seriously? Runs in testing conditions matter, no matter where the match is played! By making such a statement , you are coming out either as ignorant or arrogant! You seem to be arguing that playing spin is either easy or doesnt matter!! Given that the current odi series was played on roads , not all the pitches here are outright flat. Take the India-Pak series early this year or the India-Eng test series..KP's 186 in Mumbai was an extra-ordinary innings. Or for that matter , look at the Pak-SA series in UAE now Hopefully , you change your mindset or atleast tell us how you arrived at such a statement. Because i , for one, can't figure it out!