ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / Features

Australia's latest ODI batting star

George Bailey has played only 31 ODI innings, but during this period he has racked up astonishing numbers

S Rajesh

October 25, 2013

Comments: 28 | Text size: A | A

George Bailey scored 40 of his 92 runs in the last five overs, India v Australia, 2nd ODI, Jaipur, October 16, 2013
In non-international one-day matches, George Bailey averages only 33, but in ODIs it goes up by almost 60% © BCCI

George Bailey's record in domestic one-day matches is solid, but far from outstanding: in 128 innings he averages 33.37 at a strike rate of 83.69, with 27 scores of 50 or more, which means he notches up one such score every 4.74 innings. Since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, he has averaged 36.41 in 86 one-day matches - domestic and international - in Australia, and 36.27 in 75 innings for Tasmania in this format.

These are good numbers, but hardly the kind to make your eyes pop out, for other Australians have done much better at home during this period: Michael Klinger averages 48.26 from 80 innings, Brad Hodge 54.62 at a strike rate of 90.29, Adam Voges 46.83 in 75 innings, Shaun Marsh 42.14 in 74, and David Hussey 41.57 at a strike rate of 93 in 107 innings.

In the 19 months that he has played one-day internationals, though, Bailey has lifted his game several levels. In 31 ODI innings, he averages 53.03, and improvement of almost 60% over his average in domestic one-day matches.

The sort of consistency he has shown recently, especially, is staggering: in his last seven innings he has scores of 82, 87, 4, 85, 92*, 43, and 98 - 491 runs at an average of 81.83, and a strike rate of 107. In 18 innings in 2013, Bailey has averaged 62.53, scored his runs at almost a run a ball, and gone past 50 once every two innings. The average hasn't been inflated unduly by not-outs either, with only three of those in his 18 innings. Add the fact that Bailey's captained the team in ten matches this year, and you get an idea of just how influential he has been to Australia's ODI team in these last 19 months.

George Bailey in one-day matches
  Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
In one-day internationals 31 1379 53.03 89.48 1/ 11
In non-international one-day matches 139 3838 33.37 83.69 5/ 22

It obviously remains to be seen how well Bailey can maintain these sort of numbers over a longer period, but regardless of that, it's clear that he has already stacked up very impressive stats over a fairly substantial period of time. No Australian batsman has scored as many as he has after 31 ODI innings - Greg Chappell got the closest, scoring 1298 runs at 56.43. Chappell is also one of three Australians to average higher than Bailey after 31 innings.

Michael Hussey averaged 77.06 at this stage of his career, but that was also because he was unbeaten in more than half those innings - he had 16 not-outs in 31 outings. Similarly, Michael Bevan's average was boosted to 63.93 because of 15 not-outs. Bailey, on the other hand, has been unbeaten only five times in his 31 innings.

Australia's ODI batsmen after 31 innings
Batsman Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Michael Hussey 1156 77.06 97.38 0/ 9
Michael Bevan 1023 63.93 76.51 0/ 6
Greg Chappell 1298 56.43 74.94 2/ 7
George Bailey 1379 53.03 89.48 1/ 11
Michael Clarke 936 40.69 89.91 1/ 4
Dean Jones 801 36.40 84.22 0/ 4
Darren Lehmann 924 35.53 80.34 1/ 6
Matthew Hayden 968 33.37 68.89 1/ 8
David Boon 1027 33.12 66.38 1/ 5
Adam Gilchrist 864 32.00 83.23 2/ 4
Shane Watson 588 30.94 72.23 0/ 3
Ricky Ponting 866 30.92 70.17 2/ 5
Allan Border 819 28.24 60.04 1/ 4
Andrew Symonds 693 27.72 103.27 0/ 2
Damien Martyn 645 25.80 79.62 0/3
Mark Waugh 673 24.03 87.97 0/ 3

The year 2013 has been particularly profitable for Bailey - last year, he scored 441 runs in 13 innings, averaging 40.09 at a strike rate of 77.50; this year, his 938 runs have come at an average of 62.53, and a strike rate of 96.50. Multiplying the average by the runs scored per ball gives an index score of 60.34.

Only two Australian batsmen have achieved a higher score in a calendar year (with a cut-off of 900 runs): in 2007, Ricky Ponting was in spectacular form, scoring five centuries and eight fifties in 24 innings; in 2011, another World Cup year, Shane Watson made two huge unbeaten hundreds - 161 against England and 185 aganst Bangladesh - and finished with an average of almost 57 and a strike rate of 109 from 22 innings. In 2007 Matthew Hayden was outstanding too, averaging almost 60 at a strike rate of 89, which explains largely why Australia were so successful that year.

Best calendar years in ODIs for Australian batsmen (Qual: 900 runs)
Batsman Year Inngs Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s Ave*SR/100
Ricky Ponting 2007 24 1424 79.11 91.69 5/ 8 72.54
Shane Watson 2011 22 1139 56.95 108.89 2/ 8 62.01
George Bailey 2013 18 938 62.53 96.50 1/ 8 60.34
Michael Bevan 1998 22 959 68.50 81.68 1/ 8 55.95
Dean Jones 1990 22 1174 69.05 78.84 4/ 7 54.44
Matthew Hayden 2007 30 1601 59.29 89.19 5/ 6 52.88
Michael Bevan 1999 28 949 67.78 76.59 0/ 8 51.91
Michael Clarke 2011 22 900 56.25 79.64 1/ 6 44.80
Michael Hussey 2009 31 1166 48.58 90.80 0/ 11 44.11
Michael Clarke 2005 25 954 53.00 82.67 1/ 8 43.81
Shane Watson 2009 24 1013 50.65 84.48 3/ 3 42.79
Ricky Ponting 1998 24 1166 53.00 76.91 3/ 6 40.76

However, while Ponting and Hayden were both in stunning form in 2007, in these last 19 months Bailey is the only one who has consistently scored runs. The only other Australian batsman who's scored more than 400 runs at a 40-plus average is Adam Voges. There've been centuries from several other batsmen, but they haven't contributed as consistently as the team would've liked them to. The biggest disappointment has been David Warner, who has averaged less than 25 from 17 innings.

Leading run-scorers for Australia in ODIs since Bailey's debut
Batsman Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
George Bailey 31 1379 53.03 89.48 1/ 11
Shane Watson 22 798 36.27 90.78 2/ 4
Michael Clarke 17 628 39.25 77.24 1/ 4
Phil Hughes 17 624 39.00 75.18 2/ 2
Aaron Finch 15 489 32.60 93.14 1/ 2
Glenn Maxwell 17 442 34.00 122.77 0/ 4
Adam Voges 12 430 47.77 83.33 1/ 2
David Hussey 18 417 24.52 84.41 0/ 3
David Warner 17 417 24.52 72.39 0/ 3

In the ODIs he has played so far, Bailey has mostly batted at Nos. 4 and 5, and as the tables below show, he has adapted his game well to the needs of the team. When he has come in early, Bailey's taken his time to score runs, but has mostly preserved his wicket even if the runs have come slowly. In the middle overs, he has scored briskly without relying too much on boundaries. His relatively low number of dismissals - and consequently the high average of 57 - suggests he has largely played risk-free cricket during this phase. In the period since his debut, no batsman has scored more runs than his 912 during the middle overs; Misbah-ul-Haq is next with 901 runs at an average of 69.30 and a run rate of 4.11.

After scoring all those runs in the middle overs, Bailey has also been able to turn it up a couple of gears during the slog, scoring at nine an over and yet achieving a healthy average of more than 42 runs per dismissal while doing so. His dot-ball percentage reduces drastically to 27% during this period, while the boundary percentage rises to nearly 60%, which is exactly what you'd what of a good batsman during the slog overs. In fact, only MS Dhoni (415 runs at an average of 59.28 and run rate of 8.98) has scored more runs in the slog in the last 19 months.

All of this adds up to a batsman who clearly understands the demands of ODI cricket, and has geared his game to meet the challenges of the format. So far in his brief ODI career, he hasn't been as effective when batting second (average 35.66, strike rate 70.39), but then he has batted only seven times in run-chases. When batting first, he has been a powerhouse, averaging 58.25 at a strike rate of 94, stats which have turned him from an also-ran into Australia's most important cog in their ODI batting wheel.

How Bailey's scored his ODI runs
Runs scored Balls faced Dot % 4s/ 6s % boundary runs
1379 1541 48.93 107/ 30 44.09
Bailey against pace and spin in ODIs
  Runs Balls Dismissals Average Run rate
Pace 823 881 16 51.43 5.60
Spin 556 660 9 61.77 5.05
Bailey in different stages of an ODI innings
  Runs Balls Dismissals Average Run rate Dot % Boundary %
0-15 overs 126 204 1 126.00 3.70 65.68 44.44
15.1 to 40 overs 912 1110 16 57.00 4.92 50.27 38.60
40.1 to 50 overs 341 227 8 42.62 9.01 27.31 58.65

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

RSS Feeds: S Rajesh

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Comments: 28 
. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
Comments have now been closed for this article

Posted by sachit on (October 30, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

In this age of T20 and hyped up cricket - people like Bailey go un noticed. He's got a great approach even though his technique needs a little polishing up. IMHO he's even better leadership material than Clarke who still has a wee bit of an attitude problem.

Posted by Dummy4 on (October 29, 2013, 11:57 GMT)

In addition to his correct and re-assuring batting style, what I like about Bailey is his calm posture and a smiling face on-field, even during difficult times. But that does not mean he is soft; he is as tough as any typical Australian hard nut of a cricketer who knows what he wants and the will to win at all costs

Posted by sid on (October 29, 2013, 6:01 GMT)

Good job Rajesh. Can you please select an Indian Test team for the coming WI series strictly based on stats from the past 24 months (before the selectors do)? In fact, do it for every series, for every country. Consider all active cricket players who have played Tests and First class cricket in the country in the past 24 months (exclude the currently injured/unavailable players). Equate the Test batting/bowling averages to First class batting/bowling averages by adding a correction coefficient, say 5 runs (you figure out what it is based on existing stats). It will be fun to select a team strictly based on stats, try it. I want to see, to what extent it resembles the team selected by the selectors.

Posted by Dummy4 on (October 28, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

Very good analysis, similar we need for Virat Kohli also. Thank you.

Posted by Troy on (October 27, 2013, 11:18 GMT)

It should also be pointed out the quality of the oppositions he has been facing this year - Champions Trophy, England in England, India in India. These are some of the best ODI teams in the world, in their backyards. While I agree that ODI form should not dictate the test team selection, I have been calling for Baileys inclusion in the test side for quite some time. The reason is right here in the article, its how he has stepped up to international level.He's got experience playing around the world, against international teams. He needs to perform in the shield, unfortunately I think he only has one match to stake his claim (and maybe an australia A match against england?). Then again, theres only two rounds to judge form on before the squad is picked, so I think he should at least be in the squad, even if he doesn't play the first test. I think his runs in India are a lot more valuable as an indicator than the Ryobi cup matches in Sydney.

Posted by Dummy4 on (October 27, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

Good to see the attacking mindset of Bailey which works very much in favor of both him and the Aussies. Bailey needs to work out his technique a bit for test arena. If he can continue this form in Tests Australia would have a very good chance of getting back the lost Ashes.

Posted by Android on (October 26, 2013, 16:45 GMT)

for all aus fans and Wellwishers. Who do u find in current form and performance better than him. for all his low domestic performance he has stood out in international cricket. and without allowing him an opportunity at test level u people intend to kill ur claim in regaining the ASHES. for all of Clarke's out of the field politics, what have u people gained by backing him. START VALUING A TEAM PLAYER. WE INDIANS MADE A STAR OUT M. AMARNATH, BINNY, SHASTRI, JADEJA, PRAVEEN KUMAR, DHONI, HARBHAJAN and Yes ISHANT SHARMA Just B'coz They Were And Are Team Players. GIVE RESPECT TO THEM RATHER RIDICULING THEM WITH COMPARISON OF FORMER GREATS...

Email Feedback Print
S RajeshClose
S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

    How Bangladesh is finding and developing its talent

Mustafizur, Mosaddek, Mehidy, Nazmul - where did they all come from? By Mohammad Isam

    It's time to rediscover Test-match batting

Mark Nicholas: England's recklessness in the name of positivity is a sign that the art of batting in the longest format is no longer given due attention

Is it possible for a Pakistani to be a fan of Ian Botham?

Imran Yusuf ponders an age-old question
The Cricket Monthly

    Nottingham's the charm

On tour in the UK, Firdose Moonda witnesses a fine comeback, visits the country's oldest pub, and squeezes in some yoga lessons

News | Features Last 3 days

No stories yet

News | Features Last 3 days

    No stories yet

World Cup Videos