India v Australia, 4th ODI, Ranchi October 23, 2013

Ashes spot not on Bailey's mind

ESPNcricinfo staff

Australia captain George Bailey has said it is "ridiculous" for him to think about an Ashes spot in the Australian summer on the basis of his one-day form in India - 318 runs in four innings. He also said he felt "frustrated" during his 98 against India in the washed-out Ranchi ODI and said Glenn Maxwell took the pressure off him in cracking 92 off 77 deliveries.

Although he's played 33 ODIs and 19 T20Is, Bailey has not made it to the Test side, and has a first-class average of 38.29 from 96 matches. His scores so far this series have been 85, 92*, 43 and 98 but he denied having one eye on an Ashes berth. "No, both eyes on the ball. That's very important. I think there's probably eight guys who have got a chance of playing in that Ashes team. It's so far away. It's just ridiculous to look at it. There's guys who will be at home playing Shield cricket, we've got Australia A games when we get back. It's a completely different format. Completely different surface. I don't think there's anyone out playing in these games thinking about that series."

Despite his superb ODI form, Bailey said he didn't feel at his best in Ranchi."I was dropped twice. I was a bit frustrated out there and found it quite difficult," Bailey said. "I think Maxy's innings was absolutely superb. We've seen his hitting before and we've seen how he can take games away late in an innings. But to come in with the team under pressure, with the ball still doing a little bit, I thought he summed it up. He still hit the boundaries and sixes but he hit them off the balls that he needed to hit. He didn't take any risks. They were smart shots in his areas. He took the pressure off me. When you've got someone scoring at the pace he was, it put the pressure right back on India. It was a great knock."

Bailey and Maxwell - who was put down twice as well, though off difficult chances - put on 153 in 22.4 overs after Australia had been reduced to 32 for 3 at one stage by Mohammed Shami. The fast bowler got the new ball to move around initially, but Bailey said Maxwell's arrival changed things. "I thought Maxwell found it conducive to strokeplay. It was still a good batting wicket. Probably what it did that the other wickets haven't done is it swung and seamed and spat a little bit, particularly at the start. From the moment Maxwell strode to the crease he made it look like a different wicket."

Maxwell hit 11 boundaries in his innings, two of them reverse-swept to the deep -cover boundary off R Ashwin. Bailey said he had no reason to ask his partner to take it easy as Maxwell had worked on the shot in the nets. "He practises that as much as I've ever seen anyone practise it. No more so than I see Shane Watson practising the straight drive. If that's a shot he's put the time into - and we've seen him put that time into it - then he has absolutely every right to play it. As long as the circumstances are right. I think the field that he had and the plan that he had was spot on. And he executed them both very well."

Australia were positive about defending 295 before the rain came down with India 27 for 0 in 4.1 overs, Bailey said. "We were confident but I'm sure India probably were as well. Given the way the series has gone... strong batting line-up, I'm sure they would've been. We just felt there was enough movement in the wicket, particularly early on. Looking at our scorecard it would suggest that new batters found it difficult at the wicket. It was hard to get started. We were hoping if we could get a couple of wickets you could make that quite challenging. And certainly the pace that Mitch (Johnson) was getting it through early on, it looked like that was going to be quite difficult to play at different stages at the game.

"Certainly 50 overs we were confident and happy to back. I think the way Duckworth-Lewis is set up, I think if it had become a 20-over game it probably would've suited India quite a bit."

'Maxwell's innings summed up the pitch' - Bailey

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • G on October 30, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    test cricket's unique I think as mental strength and the ability to convert that to runs is what it is all about.

  • Suresh on October 28, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    It is not just the number of runs, it is the way he has scored the runs that calls for a test cap. Not only the runs, the way he has carried his team on and equally importantly, off the field is commendable. You almost like the team from OZ. :)

  • Dummy4 on October 27, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    he & Maxwell are performing very well in India...

  • Tim on October 27, 2013, 1:03 GMT

    He needs First Class runs. Only if he can be among the better First Class players should his ability to step from dometic to internataional in another game make any difference. His most recenbt First Class form is a while back now, but dismal. Unfortunately for him, thans to the ineptitude of CA, he will only have one game before the Brisbane squad is announced. He could well force his way in by the third Test but until then its hard to build a case based on multiday cricket. I suspect he will be picked, and if so I hope his form doies translate across games, but picking Test teams on short-game form is fraught with danger. For example, it is how Xavier Doherty has played Test matches.

  • nikhil on October 26, 2013, 14:50 GMT

    it will be better if hughes does the wicket-keeping in place of haddin

  • Rajaram on October 25, 2013, 23:52 GMT

    The Selectors would be foolish to ignore George Bailey's solidity, maturity, leadership, seniority and consistent contributions in runs - both as Captain of Tassie who won the Sheffield Shield, and as ODI Captain. He is the RIGHT choice for the Number 4 or Number 6 Test spot. My Team for the Gabba Test IN BATTING ORDER would be: Ed Cowan, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, George Bailey, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, Brad Haddin, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon. WE'LL WIN THE ASHES WITH THIS TEAM. GO, AUSSIES, GO!

  • subhasish on October 25, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    berly should play in the 1st test i think he will bat at no 6 and i seriously think berly should lead aus in the odis becoz i think clarke at the moment not like playing odis .last one year he rested from several odi series in 2015 in mind aus selector should give berly captainship job and give him backing .

  • Nanda Kumar on October 25, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    I am surprised that Bailey is only on the fringes of selection. May be he is scoring runs in ODI, but he seems to be doing it consistently and under pressure. These are international and even India's bowling must be on par or better than some of some of the domestic bowling. He is playing in front of hugh crowds and playing proper cricket shots. No harm in giving it a shot. He may be late bloomer. And any way it is not like there is a surfeit of talent and Bailey is being picked in place of Michel Hussey or some one of his caliber. To me he is a straight shoo in and can also handle the captaincy in case Clark does not last the full series as seems likely at this point in time.

  • Muthuvel on October 25, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    Bailey is a gun, strong willed cricketer. Reminds me of a certain P Collingwood. Respect. 'two eyes on the ball', the way he said ' do you think so' when Sashtri said the flat pitch was a beauty was epic. Like the guy, cheers from India.

  • Dummy4 on October 25, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    I don't think there is any doubt Bailey should be in the test team.