England v Australia, Champions Trophy, Group A, Edgbaston June 8, 2013

Trouble is, Bailey is the best Australia have got

George Bailey might not be the answer to all, or any, of Australia's problems but at the minute he's their brightest light. That is their biggest problem
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There is this recurring theme that George Bailey isn't much of a batsman. That he is lucky to be there. That without his captaincy skills he wouldn't even be picked in this line up.

It is all based on the fact that for the first time since Australia's first Test, a player was picked to captain Australia despite the fact that he'd never played international cricket. Sure, it was only T20, a form that has never been taken seriously in Australia. But this was a massive thing.

Bailey was seen as one of the mad professor's gambles. Australian cricket often fears anything different, and with John Inverarity picking cricketers based on their intelligence and leadership skills, Bailey became an easy target. He'd never had a massive Sheffield Shield season that demanded he be picked. His first-class average was not monumental. He'd not dominated county cricket or the IPL. And he was no young prodigy that could play for the next 10 years. Bailey was often a punch line for a cricket system that was failing on many levels.

Of course Bailey had little to do with Australia's fall from grace. He hadn't played when they lost the No. 1 Test match crown or the last World Cup. Even in the World T20 he took a poor side and got it to the semi-final. They were beaten by the eventual champions West Indies, and while his team crumbled, he played his best innings against them.

Today in the press box, there was talk that he was the worst batsman of any Australian captains since the Packer era. Kim Hughes, Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are fair batsmen. And had Bailey been anywhere near their talent, you'd expect he would have played far earlier in his career. He didn't, because he just isn't that good. Most aren't.

But with Clarke injured, Bailey is the most likely batsmen in this team to make a score. In his ODI career he averages 45.50 with a strike rate of 83.74. The average is amazing, the strike rate, could be higher. Bailey wasn't picked in the ODI side as a captain, he was picked as a batsman, and as a batsman in the last two years he has been by far Australia's most consistent in all conditions.

Despite their reputations, in the same period Shane Watson and David Warner strike rates are only 80 and 81 respectively. Watson averaging 37.37 and Warner averaging 34.95.

Hughes has averaged 49.55 in that period, but with a strike rate of 75. And despite some of his trademark flashes through the off side, here looked completely out of his depth. He made 30 off 55 balls, and gave two chances, or three, as he might have edged the ball he was should have been stumped off.

Despite the fact that Matthew Wade is Australia's first choice ODI keeper, his Test record is far better, and this was another disappointing outing for him, with his average now barely staying above 20.

Mitchell Marsh at No. 6 just doesn't look right and then Australia only have Adam Voges, who is only a few matches into his comeback. He's looked really good after a comically bad run at the start of Australia's domestic summer.

The shame for Australia, is that in all forms of cricket they have quality fast bowlers. Today they did well to restrict England, who at one stage looked like they would skip merrily to 300 with their eyes closed. In the end, all the bowlers good work only made Australia's losing margin less embarrassing.

This bowling line up doesn't even include Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle or James Pattinson. And yet when compared to the batting line up, it's just far superior. In fact, it would be awkward to even compare the two on talent or form right now. This bowling attack with almost any other batting line up, perhaps Pakistan excluded, would be in a better position, or an actual position, to win this tournament.

With this line up, it's hard to see how Australia will even get into the semi-finals. On form and confidence, James Faulkner could bat as high as No. 5 and not look out of place.

Today, Warner was out in typical fashion. As did Watson. Hughes just couldn't get going. Voges and Wade were undone by movement. Marsh absolutely smashed the hell out of a ball, straight to Morgan at point.

Of the batsmen, it was only Bailey who looked at home, scored with any ease, and handled the moving ball. When he got out, he also looked the most passionate. Right now, he, and potentially Voges, look the best of a very poor bunch.

Bailey might have been picked as an experiment, and he might not be the answer to all, or any, of Australia's problems. But right now he's the best they have to work with. And that is the major problem.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • landl47 on June 8, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    I admire Bailey, who is a good captain and a batsman who makes the most of his limited talent. However, as Jarrod says, the fact that he is currently the second best batsman on the team (after Michael Clarke) is worrying and the lack of young talent pushing for a place even more so.

    The most worrying thing of all, though, is attitude. Aus today didn't look like a side that believed it could win. I don't ever recall seeing that from an Aus team before. They were playing out time when there were still more than 10 overs remaining. That's not the Aussie way and there has to be some very plain speaking behind closed doors on what is expected of someone wearing a baggy green.

  • smudgeon on June 8, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    Bailey is at his best when things are at their worst. This has always been his thing. Any mug with a good swing a bat six-foot-wide can score when the pitch is flat, the bowling is ordinary, and the sun is shining. George is definitely one of those players whose record doesn't tell the whole story. Calls to draft him in to the India squad after the first test might have seemed daft to some based on his sub-40 batting average, but those of us who have watched him in domestic cricket for the last decade know his mettle - and while it probably wouldn't have saved the entire series (one man doesn't make a team), it would have been a good decision and George, like he has done for Tasmania for so long, would have thrived on the pressure. As Usmankhan24 said before me, he's not of the calibre of Ponting (who is, in domestic cricket?), but his fighting qualities and calm head are most welcome in the currently flaccid ODI batting lineup...

  • Harmony111 on June 8, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    I beg to disagree with this article. I would in fact argue the other way. I don't know much about Bailey's FC record but based on whatever I have seen of him in Intl matches, he seems to be a balanced batsman who is still trying to figure out the best way to deal with challenges in Intl cricket. Given that others are failing around him and he is the captain, it is likely that he is heavily constrained to play in his most natural style. At the moment it looks like he is just trying to build an innings each time he goes there and has to avoid playing any adventurous shots. Even with these constraints, he has looked pretty attractive to me and I never thought of him as a poor or mediocre batsman or as someone "who did not belong".

    A team is basically a system, a machine. One or two poor quality components can stall it. Aus's current weakness is a top order that is not working and a very weak lower middle order. Bowling has talent though and I still back Warner to come good in this CT.

  • Herbet on June 8, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Its bizarre to see Australia with such a poor batting line up. They could pick two bowling attacks to do a good job, but the batting looks anaemic. You used to watch County Cricket and see Australians savaging attacks that barely got a look in at international level, and read articles wondering whether Australia A were the second best team in the world. Stuart Law, Brad Hodge, Martin Love, Darren Lehman, Jamie Cox and for ages Michael Hussey could barely get a game. Australia would kill for any of them right now. Which makes you wonder who David Hussey has offended.

  • Meety on June 11, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    Everything is going according to Clarke's 9 step plan to win back the Ashes. Step1) Have a subdued Test tour of India (Success), Step 2) Keep our gun Test bowlers away from the prying eyes of the English media (if they saw how good they really were, the Fleet Street press would go into meltdown) - (Success), Step 3) Keep Clarke out of the direct media limelight, so he can continue to fine tune his detailed plans to dismantle the entire England batting line up - County players included, by pretending to have a bad back) - (Success), Step 4) Water down Ashes hype by not beating England in the 1st game - (Success).Steps 1 to 4 are designed to have retired English "experts" coming out of hybernation (or the retirement home) & making ridiculous statements - (read Botham). Step 5 thru to 9 is simply winning the next Test - which I am sure will be successful. Therefor ladies & gentlemen - Oz to win the Ashes 5nil! Simple.

  • JimDavis on June 10, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Front-foot-lunge - the slide England started? I can only assume you mean, it was started by all our recent greats retiring because they were bored with beating England so often. Just how different is this team to the ones who won the last two Champions Trophy's? Jarrod, it might be time for a bit of revision on the greatness of Pontings ODI captaincy. I mean we have been in decline a good few years now, but he was able to keep the ODI side winning for a lot more years than should have been possible, with the ever diminishing resources available.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 10, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Bailey's your typical cricketer from down under: Tries hard, but just not good enough for this level. And he's captain and the best they've got. Australia remain trapped in the depths of cricketing mediocrity, years after their infamous 'slide' that England started them on all those years ago. England beat them just for fun these days, this match was no different.

  • ScottStevo on June 10, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Watson, Warner, S Marsh, Hughes, Clarke, Ferguson, Paine, Johnson, Starc, spinner - (doesn't really matter who as they're all as dodgy as each other), Cummins/Pattinson/anyone not regarded as "workman-like"...If Warner can't get it together soon, then maybe we can add someone like Finch, or get Usman batting for the national side in hopes we can introduce him into the test arena. If Hughes or anyone in the middle order can't cut it, then we bring in Bailey or Voges.

  • GeoffreysMother on June 10, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    I think this is a very fair article and accurate about the batting strengths of Hughes, Warner and Watson. Despite Warne's complaints about Bailey on commentary he offered no solution, other than Australia should play better. In England, Voges only gets to play country cricket when David Hussey is not available which says a bit about how highly he is ranked. I think however you don't give enough credit to England's bowling. They at least matched the Australian's and the first three wickets were all down to the pressure they had created on 'attacking' batsmen. They also have the luxury of a spinner and a reserve spinner of international class, which suggests your estimation of the Aussie attack as the best along with Pakistan is a bit over the top. To be fair New Zealand's looks as good, and more varied. The time to assess Faulkner, like Hughes, and to be fair Joe Root, is after 10 or 12 matches when the opposition have had a good look at him. Seems good, but let's see how good.

  • vj_gooner on June 10, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Very well put Kimber. It is hard to admit as a fan but this is 100% true!

  • landl47 on June 8, 2013, 22:40 GMT

    I admire Bailey, who is a good captain and a batsman who makes the most of his limited talent. However, as Jarrod says, the fact that he is currently the second best batsman on the team (after Michael Clarke) is worrying and the lack of young talent pushing for a place even more so.

    The most worrying thing of all, though, is attitude. Aus today didn't look like a side that believed it could win. I don't ever recall seeing that from an Aus team before. They were playing out time when there were still more than 10 overs remaining. That's not the Aussie way and there has to be some very plain speaking behind closed doors on what is expected of someone wearing a baggy green.

  • smudgeon on June 8, 2013, 22:27 GMT

    Bailey is at his best when things are at their worst. This has always been his thing. Any mug with a good swing a bat six-foot-wide can score when the pitch is flat, the bowling is ordinary, and the sun is shining. George is definitely one of those players whose record doesn't tell the whole story. Calls to draft him in to the India squad after the first test might have seemed daft to some based on his sub-40 batting average, but those of us who have watched him in domestic cricket for the last decade know his mettle - and while it probably wouldn't have saved the entire series (one man doesn't make a team), it would have been a good decision and George, like he has done for Tasmania for so long, would have thrived on the pressure. As Usmankhan24 said before me, he's not of the calibre of Ponting (who is, in domestic cricket?), but his fighting qualities and calm head are most welcome in the currently flaccid ODI batting lineup...

  • Harmony111 on June 8, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    I beg to disagree with this article. I would in fact argue the other way. I don't know much about Bailey's FC record but based on whatever I have seen of him in Intl matches, he seems to be a balanced batsman who is still trying to figure out the best way to deal with challenges in Intl cricket. Given that others are failing around him and he is the captain, it is likely that he is heavily constrained to play in his most natural style. At the moment it looks like he is just trying to build an innings each time he goes there and has to avoid playing any adventurous shots. Even with these constraints, he has looked pretty attractive to me and I never thought of him as a poor or mediocre batsman or as someone "who did not belong".

    A team is basically a system, a machine. One or two poor quality components can stall it. Aus's current weakness is a top order that is not working and a very weak lower middle order. Bowling has talent though and I still back Warner to come good in this CT.

  • Herbet on June 8, 2013, 19:57 GMT

    Its bizarre to see Australia with such a poor batting line up. They could pick two bowling attacks to do a good job, but the batting looks anaemic. You used to watch County Cricket and see Australians savaging attacks that barely got a look in at international level, and read articles wondering whether Australia A were the second best team in the world. Stuart Law, Brad Hodge, Martin Love, Darren Lehman, Jamie Cox and for ages Michael Hussey could barely get a game. Australia would kill for any of them right now. Which makes you wonder who David Hussey has offended.

  • Meety on June 11, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    Everything is going according to Clarke's 9 step plan to win back the Ashes. Step1) Have a subdued Test tour of India (Success), Step 2) Keep our gun Test bowlers away from the prying eyes of the English media (if they saw how good they really were, the Fleet Street press would go into meltdown) - (Success), Step 3) Keep Clarke out of the direct media limelight, so he can continue to fine tune his detailed plans to dismantle the entire England batting line up - County players included, by pretending to have a bad back) - (Success), Step 4) Water down Ashes hype by not beating England in the 1st game - (Success).Steps 1 to 4 are designed to have retired English "experts" coming out of hybernation (or the retirement home) & making ridiculous statements - (read Botham). Step 5 thru to 9 is simply winning the next Test - which I am sure will be successful. Therefor ladies & gentlemen - Oz to win the Ashes 5nil! Simple.

  • JimDavis on June 10, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    Front-foot-lunge - the slide England started? I can only assume you mean, it was started by all our recent greats retiring because they were bored with beating England so often. Just how different is this team to the ones who won the last two Champions Trophy's? Jarrod, it might be time for a bit of revision on the greatness of Pontings ODI captaincy. I mean we have been in decline a good few years now, but he was able to keep the ODI side winning for a lot more years than should have been possible, with the ever diminishing resources available.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 10, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    Bailey's your typical cricketer from down under: Tries hard, but just not good enough for this level. And he's captain and the best they've got. Australia remain trapped in the depths of cricketing mediocrity, years after their infamous 'slide' that England started them on all those years ago. England beat them just for fun these days, this match was no different.

  • ScottStevo on June 10, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Watson, Warner, S Marsh, Hughes, Clarke, Ferguson, Paine, Johnson, Starc, spinner - (doesn't really matter who as they're all as dodgy as each other), Cummins/Pattinson/anyone not regarded as "workman-like"...If Warner can't get it together soon, then maybe we can add someone like Finch, or get Usman batting for the national side in hopes we can introduce him into the test arena. If Hughes or anyone in the middle order can't cut it, then we bring in Bailey or Voges.

  • GeoffreysMother on June 10, 2013, 7:59 GMT

    I think this is a very fair article and accurate about the batting strengths of Hughes, Warner and Watson. Despite Warne's complaints about Bailey on commentary he offered no solution, other than Australia should play better. In England, Voges only gets to play country cricket when David Hussey is not available which says a bit about how highly he is ranked. I think however you don't give enough credit to England's bowling. They at least matched the Australian's and the first three wickets were all down to the pressure they had created on 'attacking' batsmen. They also have the luxury of a spinner and a reserve spinner of international class, which suggests your estimation of the Aussie attack as the best along with Pakistan is a bit over the top. To be fair New Zealand's looks as good, and more varied. The time to assess Faulkner, like Hughes, and to be fair Joe Root, is after 10 or 12 matches when the opposition have had a good look at him. Seems good, but let's see how good.

  • vj_gooner on June 10, 2013, 5:44 GMT

    Very well put Kimber. It is hard to admit as a fan but this is 100% true!

  • PrasPunter on June 9, 2013, 18:57 GMT

    @Gautam, shouldnt that be applicable to india as well, the team that didnt even make it to the semis of the last 2 CT tours ? Go play the qualifying rounds and earn your place !!

  • on June 9, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    Couldn't agree more with Jarrod. The fact that Bailey, who would never make it into the squads of any other team in the CT is Australia's best batsman speaks volumes about their lack of skill and talent. Australia probably needed to play a qualifying tournament before playing a champions trophy. Probably they got in because of past reputation

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on June 9, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    @landl47-- agree with you , if there is one thing that stood out for Australia it was that they never gave up , of course this team is nowhere near the class of gilly,ponting,hauden and co but other than bailey others seems to be completely clueless. it was the same story in test series in India , where siddle of all people showed that even with limited technique you can make runs if you apply yourself , replacing warner with shaun marsh would be a good idea

  • on June 9, 2013, 17:08 GMT

    Best thing about baily is that he always smiles,,,, and worst thing about watson is that he never shines in crucial games,,,

  • on June 9, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    What a metamorphases, what goes around comes around.

  • HatsforBats on June 9, 2013, 11:00 GMT

    Typical overreactions from the loss. The reality is that the Aus top three is as good as any in the world, they're just out of form; Warner terribly so, less so Watson, while Hughes always looks out of form yet has a record of scoring century after century. If they fire all is well, but if they don't our average middle order (without Clarke) is exposed. The bowling remains strong, but each of the first choice bowlers in this match can also be innocuous and/or horribly expensive on an off day. England were rescued by Bopara, and that could be considered lucky

  • HatsforBats on June 9, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    @Rahul_78, Mike Hussey chose to retire from all international cricket after the last home summer. Unwisely he chose to make the announcement before the end of the season. Subsequently he wasn't selected by the NSP on the false grounds that they were looking to select players with a vision to future tournaments; they then proceeded to select multiple players aged 30+ (one of whom has since disappeared from international reckoning).

  • heathrf1974 on June 9, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    The talent pool in Australian batting is low.

  • PrasPunter on June 9, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    Shocking to watch Voges having a torrid time had over there in the middle. Just couldn't place his bat behind the ball. Where have all our batting resources gone ? Its been 4 years since the last CT, which was won largely to the efforts of Watto, Ponting and Hussey. No succession plan was put in place since then and we were just going through motions. Doesn't seem like we will have a good ODI team in the near future,

  • on June 9, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    Bailey and Faulkner impressed me yesterday - one - because I hadn't seen much of either of them and - two - mainly because they seemed to be the only players in the Australian XI who cared about their own performance and that of the team. Hughes has been found wanting in England before, and Warner appears to be very similar in approach. Watson is in decline, though still useful. Johnson and Starc look very similar as bowlers and I suspect if either, or both, play in The Ashes, that familiar refrain will echo from terraces "He bowls it here, he bowls it there, he bowls it everywhere..." fairly regularly. I do wonder why Australia haven't picked those experienced in England for the CT - Rogers and Hussey come to mind, as does Robson. Why no Siddle or Hilfenhaus? One has to assume they are not deemed ODI specialists... yet watching the vast majority of the Australian team neither are they...

  • JimDavis on June 9, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    It's the Justin Langer effect! Just to make the team, Justin Langer had to bust his gut, and scrap and scrape, and take any opportunity just to be on the team bus. Then once he got in the team he had to bust a gut to make sure no one came along to take his place. There is no one in the current squad who ever had to fight for their place, and in turn there does not appear to be anyone in the squad with the need (or desire) to fight to keep their place. Even New Zealand appears to have more top 6 batting depth at the moment.

    Building the bowling stocks is the first step, but to make this count, more need to be allowed to play state and district levels so that more batsmen are exposed to better bowling at each level of their career.

  • PrasPunter on June 9, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    Hate to say this, but i haven't seen such a wafer-thin Aus batting line-up for years. Fortunately, the test team doesn't need to to put up with Wade for some time. Hope that Cowan, Rogers, Haddin and Clarke (if fit) add some strength to an otherwise thin batting group. Warner should never make it to the test and ODI teams. And wondering how the powers-that-be see him as a potential leader. For his arrogance, attitude and of-course poor batting technique, he doesn't even merit a place in the team, leave alone being its captain. We need the heart of Siddle. Doesn't seem that the anyone with the ODI group has got that.

  • Viswesh.cricket on June 9, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    If Bailey is a mediocre batsman as the article suggests, what about Warner who averages 29 after 39 ODI's? It is the top order that is the problem for Australia. The top three look like they are going nowhere and all the burden falls on Bailey's shoulders and he is expected to bail them out every time!

  • Hammond on June 9, 2013, 9:23 GMT

    Beggars can't be choosers. And as far as young talent goes, Australia are literally beggars at the moment. This is like the Windies hangover all over again.

  • phunny_game on June 9, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    If Bailey is the best batsmen of the current lot, its worrying because others are not in form, not because Bailey is mediocre. He has done all that he could with such limited talent. He isn't the most graceful or elegant, nor the most powerful, or possessed with the best of technique. But he gets the job done. He is my fav batsman of the current Aussie lot, simply because he delivers when he is needed the most. Anyone can come in and score when the team is 150-2 in 30 overs. But he comes in difficult stages of the game, and manages to keep them in the hunt always. Only for others to destroy the platform laid by him. I would prefer him over a Warner any day. Reading this article, one feels he is a really mediocre batsman, which is not true at all, no matter what his domestic stats say.

  • KingofRedLions on June 9, 2013, 8:20 GMT

    @ygkd - Mitch Marsh always starts off slowly, even in T20 matches. If he plays, he should be up the order.

  • Clyde on June 9, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Very hard to believe Australia has only one batting talent, Clarke. For this is certainly the state of affairs.

  • Winsome on June 9, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Bailey has looked at home in ODIs since his first match. I don't think he is a mediocre batsman, he looks like he knows his own game better than anyone else in the team. It's the burden of the inexperience around him that must be hard, but he seems to be a tough character. I'd agree about Mitch Marsh being an odd choice in some ways but he's 21 and that's only his second match in ODIs so we could probably hold fire on saying he's not right for it. Almost any of the young keepers in Aus could be tried, Wade's strike rate is under 70 and let's face it, he certainly hasn't been picked for his great keeping.

  • xylo on June 9, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    I think the most important thing Bailey brings to the Australian side is attitude. I do not think any of the current players, bar Clarke, has the attitude/spirit that was central to their dressing room and took Australia to great heights. Bailey might not have all the shots with the right technique, but he is very effective when the situation demands it, ala Dhoni.

  • on June 9, 2013, 7:16 GMT

    Aus side is now at par with NZL. They might well be 7-8 th rank team.Bowling is good. Batting ridiculous. Their team is so fragile. No wonder they were 65 all out against india and 70 all out against Sri.

  • marlon17 on June 9, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    Aus selectors should take responsible for bad selection for ODI team... this Phill Hughs is absolutely joke... There are many batter players than Hughes.. Shuan Marsh is better player.. but still not in ODI team... ridiculous.. Instead f Mitch Marsh they shoul play a specialist batsman...

  • ygkd on June 9, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    Wade's low ODI average gets a mention, but not his strike-rate. I listened to the incessant commentary about how England were batting "too slow", but the two supposedly snail-paced Ians - IR Bell and IJL Trott both bat quicker than one plucky MS Wade (with significantly higher long-term averages to boot). Then there was big-hitting MR Marsh batting at six with about 9 rpo needed to win and he takes nine balls to get off the mark, hits a bad ball for 4 and goes out having achieved little else besides. At the top sits one DA Warner who likes to score quickly. However, unable to get going against England's bowling, the moment his innings' strike-rate fell below 50 (yes, that's right - below 50), his dismissal looked a mere formality. Then there's PJ Hughes, who has a decent strike-rate and average, but then his ODI career consists of just 11 games not counting the two warm-ups, and it's a good job they aren't because he failed with 0 & 14. In that context, GJ Bailey looks a decent player.

  • on June 9, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    Australia's are where England were during the 90's with the lack of talent and selectors who make some strange selections.

  • milepost on June 9, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    I was most disappointed with the thrashing in India. India played well and deserved their victory but I hold Clarke and Arthur responsible. I sense from afar that their approach in managing their players and the culture is wrong, completely wrong. The body language and performances yesterday against England were the worst I have ever seen from Australia. The criticism of Bailey is unfair, I believe is selection is well justified. Players like Hughes, Wade and Warner keep getting selected despite terrible performances. Get rid of Arthur and Clarke, get a no-nonsense coach, pick the best 6 batsman and best 5 bowlers in the country and put some spine back in the Aussie cricket team. At this rate I'm more likely to be hiding under my bed during the Ashes rather than actually watching it. This whole 'building for the future' is rubbish when the best Australian players are left out and we are getting hammered.

  • Rahul_78 on June 9, 2013, 5:14 GMT

    Can someone from Australian media or fans or followers please help me with Michael Hussey mystery? The guy is a legend and looked like a million buck in recent IPL. Looked fit and as good on form as any time of his international career. Why has he decided to stay away from Australian international cricket? Mike Hussey has been as patriotic as any Aussie cricketers come and he knows Australia could do with his services at such difficult times and 2 back to back ashes series looming. Has it got anything to do with new Michael Clarke regime where old guards are feeling unwelcome? As is evident the other best talent Watson doesn't exactly looks too happy in current setup.

  • GRVJPR on June 9, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    More tahn blaming Bailer aussies seriouly need to bring some good batsmen. Australia is big enough country to find 3 or 4 of them. What's going on?

  • ajg2013 on June 9, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    I dont think it is fair to blame Bailey for the current situation Australia is in saying that "he is the best of a bad bunch" . . I think his talent as a cricketer and his character as a leader show a lot more than some of the rubbish I have seen from previous Australian teams. . This guy is a genuine hardworking cricketer who needs to be supported rather than crticised. . . In a team with the SO CALLED stars like Warner, Watson and Co ... he took the reins of the innings when Australia needed it most. . This is typical Australian politics that have costed the careers of players like Stuart Law, Brad Hodge, Tom Moody, Nathan Bracken and almost that of Mike Hussey. Extremely disappointed that a consistent hardworking player is being badgered. JUST STOP

  • on June 9, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    What the hell kind of selection is Australia doing? Where is Shaun Marsh, Callum Ferguson and Tim Paine? And the writer talks of a good bowling attack? Seriously? Except for the pace that Stark or Johnson might provide, they wouldn't even be selected in the Indian team. They would have to replace Ishant Sharma at best and that is saying something about their bowling.

  • kapil__goyal on June 9, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    Where are players like James Hopes?

  • pvwadekar on June 9, 2013, 2:29 GMT

    Bailey has done ok with the limited talent that he has. The real question is the muddled team selection. Why does the selection committee constantly keep on selecting players who have not performed eg Warner, or Hughes, Johnson.Did they & the coach do their homework ? Aren't there any other batsmen left in Australia ? What even happened to Shaun Marsh or Callum Fergusson ? How come you have 3 left arm fast blowers who bowled 28 overs and just take 3 wickets ? And why no spinner ? There isn't one semi-decent ODI spinner in Shield cricket ?

  • inefekt on June 9, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    Bailey should be playing in the Ashes. The lineup needs a gritty, determined batsman who values his wicket as opposed to a glamour boy who thinks he is invincible, of which we have an abundance of unfortunately.

  • andrew-schulz on June 9, 2013, 1:45 GMT

    You smashed Bailey after the world 20/20 as well. Totally unjustified. He has been an unqualified success. As for worst batter of captains since the Packer era, I would suggest he is a better bat than Shane Warne, Ray Bright and Geoff Marsh. Tight with Shane Watson. And what do you mean his strike rate could be higher? Altogether baffling.

  • RajeshNaik on June 9, 2013, 1:37 GMT

    " But right now he's the best they have to work with. And that is the major problem". What a shame! This last sentence of the article proves again that flamboyance is the thing in cricket. I thought it was so only in India! Bailey has the best average and a good strike rate. Still people like this author fail to recognise the contribution. From the day he was in the Australian team, I have noticed that he did well better than the clarkes and warners and watsons, when one sees the overall contribution over a period of time. He contributes in 4 out of 5 matches. But his lack of flamboyancy makes people like this author ridicule him.

  • on June 9, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    Bailey demonstrates one key attribute that all the other Australian batsmen (apart from Clarke and possibly Cowan) fail badly at, and that is brains. He may only be the poor man's Mike Hussey, but when everyone else is either a basher or a slasher, his good sense and judgement make him a vital asset. I hope he plays so well in this Champions Trophy that he forces his way into the Ashes squad.

  • on June 9, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    Interesting to see that Baileys stats are similar to the star batsmen in the team.Voges is a steady player but will never set the world on fire.The selectors plucked Rogers from obscurity for the test team but still ignore Hodge and Finch for the one day team. I see that Finch was sent home from the academy in 2007 for not keeping his room clean.Only recently did they punish the four naughty boys for not doing their homework.You have to wonder if Cricket Australia is now run by a cabal of school teachers. However one game does not a summer make and Australia can never be written off.Michell Marsh may be the surprise packet yet.

  • on June 9, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    Let's not get too hyped about today's Australian attack. Starc blows hot and cold. MJ is MJ. Mackay is a useful seamer, Watson too. Front line spin bowler? Fifth bowler? The lack of a decent slow bowler damages Australia massively. Pakistan as a batting unit are inconsistent but you know they can knock it up a gear. You don't get that sense with Australia. Warner's dismissal was a virtual clone of his dismissal against India in the warm up, Watson's was an stereotypical a Watson LBW as there is, and Phil Hughes is unfathomable at 3. His toils in India seem to have damaged him to the extent that a part time offie in Root looks like Murali on a sticky dog.

  • OneEyedAussie on June 8, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    1) Australia need to select five specialist batsmen. I can think of some good options off the top of my head (Ferguson, Cosgrove, S.Marsh etc.). I don't see a need for M.Marsh and Watson in the same team. 2) Surely Wade's form is warranting scrutiny? Maybe it's time to give Tim Paine a run (at least in limited overs cricket). 3) Taking the playing surface into consideration, a spinner certainly should have been selected in the team.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 8, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    Watching Bailey completely embarrass himself by dropping that skier was the moment of the day. The ball was in the air for an age, great entertainment for the crowd!

  • on June 8, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    I actually feel that george bailey could be the next michael hussey. just likey hussey, he made his odi debut at the age of 29. His average is also getting high

  • on June 8, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    I can't believe Shaun Marsh and Cameron White are not in that team !!

    In fact, Cameron White is perfect to lead the team in this transition phase. He's agressive, has a good head on his shoulders and bats like a dream. Just that his confidence has been dented due to awful handling by the selectors.Shaun is too good a player to be left out even if he is out of form for a few innings'.

    My ODI X1 : Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges (one and two), Clarke, Cameron White (Captain), Watson, Faulkner, Mitchell Jhonson plus 4 bowlers.

  • on June 8, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    Any country that has Adam Voges and Mitchell Marsh batting in the top six is going to have problems.

  • wambling_future on June 8, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    @Teary: Really?? If 1 player is better than 11 how come your team still lost the match heavily? Australian batting is not even a shadow of what it was few years ago... you can continue being deluded as long as you want..so

  • Jadejafan on June 8, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    Australia fast bowling is perfectly fine and fielding as good as ever. Its their batting which is vulnerable and no decent spinners. They just have to accept that their team though still competitive are no longer the feared team they once was. Different eras comes and goes and Australia just have to accept that and rebuild even if it takes like Chappel put it on one of the videos a 'generation' to become the dominant team in Cricket today. Other teams like Pakistan are also the same so they are not the only ones. I blame Australia staff that run their Cricket for not planning for the future because surely they should've known the likes of Ponting, Lee, Hussey etc won't be there to serve the team forever.

  • UsmanTeam on June 8, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    A harsh criticism on Bailey lacking justification. On what basis do you define good batting? Average, consistency, ability to pull team from crisis? Bailey has demonstrated all three. Surely, he does not match the likes of Ponting and Steve Waugh but he is certainly a good player. They are just missing Clarke here; with Watto in touch and Clarke and Bailey to followl, Aussies can certainly be threat to any team.

  • UsmanTeam on June 8, 2013, 19:24 GMT

    A harsh criticism on Bailey lacking justification. On what basis do you define good batting? Average, consistency, ability to pull team from crisis? Bailey has demonstrated all three. Surely, he does not match the likes of Ponting and Steve Waugh but he is certainly a good player. They are just missing Clarke here; with Watto in touch and Clarke and Bailey to followl, Aussies can certainly be threat to any team.

  • Jadejafan on June 8, 2013, 19:45 GMT

    Australia fast bowling is perfectly fine and fielding as good as ever. Its their batting which is vulnerable and no decent spinners. They just have to accept that their team though still competitive are no longer the feared team they once was. Different eras comes and goes and Australia just have to accept that and rebuild even if it takes like Chappel put it on one of the videos a 'generation' to become the dominant team in Cricket today. Other teams like Pakistan are also the same so they are not the only ones. I blame Australia staff that run their Cricket for not planning for the future because surely they should've known the likes of Ponting, Lee, Hussey etc won't be there to serve the team forever.

  • wambling_future on June 8, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    @Teary: Really?? If 1 player is better than 11 how come your team still lost the match heavily? Australian batting is not even a shadow of what it was few years ago... you can continue being deluded as long as you want..so

  • on June 8, 2013, 20:17 GMT

    Any country that has Adam Voges and Mitchell Marsh batting in the top six is going to have problems.

  • on June 8, 2013, 20:23 GMT

    I can't believe Shaun Marsh and Cameron White are not in that team !!

    In fact, Cameron White is perfect to lead the team in this transition phase. He's agressive, has a good head on his shoulders and bats like a dream. Just that his confidence has been dented due to awful handling by the selectors.Shaun is too good a player to be left out even if he is out of form for a few innings'.

    My ODI X1 : Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges (one and two), Clarke, Cameron White (Captain), Watson, Faulkner, Mitchell Jhonson plus 4 bowlers.

  • on June 8, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    I actually feel that george bailey could be the next michael hussey. just likey hussey, he made his odi debut at the age of 29. His average is also getting high

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 8, 2013, 22:55 GMT

    Watching Bailey completely embarrass himself by dropping that skier was the moment of the day. The ball was in the air for an age, great entertainment for the crowd!

  • OneEyedAussie on June 8, 2013, 22:57 GMT

    1) Australia need to select five specialist batsmen. I can think of some good options off the top of my head (Ferguson, Cosgrove, S.Marsh etc.). I don't see a need for M.Marsh and Watson in the same team. 2) Surely Wade's form is warranting scrutiny? Maybe it's time to give Tim Paine a run (at least in limited overs cricket). 3) Taking the playing surface into consideration, a spinner certainly should have been selected in the team.

  • on June 9, 2013, 0:02 GMT

    Let's not get too hyped about today's Australian attack. Starc blows hot and cold. MJ is MJ. Mackay is a useful seamer, Watson too. Front line spin bowler? Fifth bowler? The lack of a decent slow bowler damages Australia massively. Pakistan as a batting unit are inconsistent but you know they can knock it up a gear. You don't get that sense with Australia. Warner's dismissal was a virtual clone of his dismissal against India in the warm up, Watson's was an stereotypical a Watson LBW as there is, and Phil Hughes is unfathomable at 3. His toils in India seem to have damaged him to the extent that a part time offie in Root looks like Murali on a sticky dog.

  • on June 9, 2013, 0:27 GMT

    Interesting to see that Baileys stats are similar to the star batsmen in the team.Voges is a steady player but will never set the world on fire.The selectors plucked Rogers from obscurity for the test team but still ignore Hodge and Finch for the one day team. I see that Finch was sent home from the academy in 2007 for not keeping his room clean.Only recently did they punish the four naughty boys for not doing their homework.You have to wonder if Cricket Australia is now run by a cabal of school teachers. However one game does not a summer make and Australia can never be written off.Michell Marsh may be the surprise packet yet.