IPL 2014 March 17, 2014

Bailey to captain Kings XI Punjab

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George Bailey, Australia's T20 captain, will lead Kings XI Punjab in the IPL this season. Bailey will be the second Australian to lead Kings XI after Adam Gilchrist, who lead the franchise in the last two seasons before retiring last year.

Bailey was one of the four Australians purchased by the franchise at the players auction on February, along with Mitchell Johnson, Glenn Maxwell and Shaun Marsh. His price tag of Rs 3.25 crore ($531,000 approx) was fractionally more than Virender Sehwag, who was the bargain buy at Rs 3.2 crore ($522,800 approx).

According to Sanjay Bangar, the Kings XI coach, Bailey was the "unanimous choice", and only candidate considered by him and the franchise owners. Bangar pointed out the biggest factor that swung things in the favour of Bailey was his leadership pedigree.

Incidentally, in 2011 when the Australian selectors appointed him as the T20 captain, Bailey became only the second man since Dave Gregory in 1877, to lead the team in his first match for the country in any format.

"He was the unanimous choice. He has got success as a leader in the domestic tournaments like Sheffield Shield in Australia," Bangar told ESPNcricinfo. "He had also lead Australia in the Twenty20 format. And then the overall type of character he is, who can understand a range of players from the bigger names to ones that have limited ability. We are confident he has the ability to bring out the best from everyone."

Bailey, 31, previously played in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings for three years from the 2009 season, before being released in 2012. However, the presence of many allrounders forced Bailey to spend time in the dugout. In the three innings he managed, he scored 63 runs at a strike rate of 95.33.

Bailey has captained Australia in 24 T20Is and helped the team to 13 victories with good numbers: 435 runs at a strike rate of 146.95.

A man with a happy disposition during tense moments, Bailey has proved himself to be an aggressive middle-order batsman who can accelerate without much fuss. He was the top-scorer for Hobart Hurricanes who finished runners-up to Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League final, a week before the auction.

"We required a player with past leadership experience. The second and crucial aspect was to have a player who was guaranteed a place in the team for all matches," Bangar said, adding the other elements that were taken into account before picking Bailey as the captain.

Bangar also pointed out that Bailey would obviously make use of a senior player like Virender Sehwag, who had led his previous franchise Delhi Daredevils in the past. "Within that group we would definitely like to utilise the experience of senior guys like Viru, who are bound to perform the role of mentors. But on the field Bailey will be the captain."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • android_user on April 13, 2014, 5:43 GMT

    there is no substitute for Maxwell... he will b the key performer

  • dummy4fb on March 19, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    Last year Ricky Pointing was announced as the captain of MI in the beginning and we all saw what happened after that.. I am afraid 'if' Bailey won't perform 5-6 matches, he will be asked to sit and Sehwag will be the captain or Vohra ( since he was retained for 9cr, idk what they see in him ) My line up : Sehwag, Mandeep, singh, Manan Vohra, Bailey, Miller, Maxell/Marsh (if Marsh plays he shall open), Mitchell Johnsson, Rishi Dhawan, Saha/Gurkeerat (wk), Murli Kartik, Awana

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on March 19, 2014, 13:59 GMT

    People crying over Sehwag need to understand that he himself said he doesn't want to lead. Other than him, there was no one in the squad with any captaining experience so he is the only and the best choice. As for blocking an overseas slot, he is good enough to warrant it anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem. Miller and Johnson are the other two players who will be in the starting line-up. This leaves the last slot to be filled by Maxwell or Marsh. Perera is really too inconsistent to be a regular contender. While Marsh has done extremely well over the seasons, Maxwell adds a lot of versatility to the side. He can play anywhere in the top 7, accelerate much better than Marsh and also provides a spinning option which could be really helpful in the UAE. Marsh has also mostly played the anchor role for which they now have Pujara. So, I would start the tournament with Bailey, Miller, Johnon and Maxwell.

  • Rachush on March 19, 2014, 6:00 GMT

    This Ipl 7 would be something for the overall stakeholders of Kings XI Punjab to remember..Appointment of Bailey as a captain for a T20 side is what most of the teams put in their wish list..Grt Decision...He is going to land this team in the Top Three this very season..No doubt about that...The only major problem would be the rotation of International Players...

  • Dalena on March 18, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    OH !!! BAD Choice , Indian Should have been captained for kings x1 punjab , rotating foreign would have been easy , now its going to be little tough!! though Viru would have been best choice.. Anyway this year hes goona fire and get his spot back in Indian team , Good luck Viru

  • a0m0a7n on March 18, 2014, 10:45 GMT

    As a Kings XI Punjab fan i'm happy with the choice. But its going to be tough rotating between Perera, Marsh and Maxwell

  • dummy4fb on March 18, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    I feel sorry for Maxwell though. No doubt Bailey is a good choice but that just sidelines one of the seasoned campaigners of KXIP - Shaun Marsh and the best hitter in town - Glenn Maxwell. Because one of them will sit out for sure considering Johnson, Miller, Bailey will surely start. I'm happy that KXIP would offer a lot this season as they start as title favorites with the squad they have developed. And if Bailey rotates the squad efficiently around Marsh/Maxwell, I wouldn't be surprised if they lift the title this season.

  • jonesy2 on March 18, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    no brainer. the best t20 leader and the best finisher in world cricket

  • espncricinfomobile on March 17, 2014, 23:10 GMT

    Does anyone really care?

  • wapuser on March 17, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    Bailey appointed skipper!! Yes! From the start of the auction, i had tboughts that either kxi or RR would buy appoint him as captain.. Now looking ahead to see whether he performs in tbe same way as he did in the last series in India..

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