The Ashes 2013-14 November 12, 2013

Bailey, the safe choice

One-day form does not make George Bailey certain of Test success, but a decade of solid state cricket means he is a viable Ashes campaigner.
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When George Bailey made his Twenty20 international debut last year, plenty of cricket observers wondered if he was good enough. Turned out he was. When he joined the ODI side later in the year, the question was asked again: is he really up to it? Turned out he really was. Now, with a baggy green within reach, the same query over his quality will be applied to Test cricket. It is impossible to predict whether he will adapt again, but hard to argue against him deserving the chance.

Perhaps Bailey is just one of those players who will never convince his doubters. And of course, it is easy to point to his awful Sheffield Shield record last summer as a reason not to pick him for an Ashes campaign. He scored 256 runs at 18.28; his Tasmania team-mate Alex Doolan made 715 at 42.05. Naturally, that does not mean Doolan is twice as good as him. One bad season does not make Bailey a dud - duds don't score 14 first-class hundreds, as Bailey has. Or average 58.08 in a Shield season, as Bailey did the previous summer.

On the contrary, by choosing a 31-year-old with a decade of first-class experience, a man who has already raised his game to international standard, a calm influence around the one-day side, the selectors have made the safest choice they could. Perhaps it says something about the state of Australian batting that a man who hasn't scored a first-class hundred in 18 matches can be considered a safe choice, but there are no Martin Loves anymore, no Brad Hodges piling up thousand-run seasons.

In the absence of any such stand-outs, a solid cricketing character with a sturdy career record and runs in the past month fits the selection criteria. The 478 runs he made at 95.60 in India last month is the highest tally ever by an Australian in a bilateral one-day series. He is equal third on the ICC's one-day batting rankings. One-day form does not always translate to Test output, and flat tracks in India are far from Australian Test pitches, but runs are runs.

Some critics - Ian Chappell among them - would argue that James Anderson and his colleagues will expose Bailey's weaknesses in the longer format. Chappell recently wrote that Bailey was "restricted through the cover region, can be stifled by good spinners and is troubled by well-directed short-pitched bowling. His moderate first-class record and those limitations are not a good template for a Test batsman."

"From what we've seen, the higher the level he plays the better cricket he responds to. From that point of view we're excited about him having his first crack"
Australia vice-captain Brad Haddin on George Bailey

He argued that a better option would be to include an allrounder at No. 6 or 7, either James Faulkner or Moises Henriques. It may yet happen, for Faulkner has been chosen in the 12-man squad and if Shane Watson's hamstring injury limits his bowling, an extra seam option might be preferred to another specialist batsman. But it is difficult to see a Brad Haddin-James Faulkner combination at Nos. 6 and 7 being a viable solution for an Australian outfit in need of greater batting stability.

Notably, since the retirement of Australia's middle-order buttress Michael Hussey, the team has not won a single Test. Bailey is no Michael Hussey, but nobody on the Australian first-class scene is. Doolan might consider himself unlucky to miss out, and he is a classy batsman but he has only six hundreds from 49 first-class games. His time will still come. An Ashes opener is not the time to blood a batsman still honing his game.

Bailey might have flaws, but he is an experienced batsman who knows his game and can handle pressure. If he is used at No. 6, he should provide a measure of steadiness that is all the more important when the top order collapses, as it habitually does a few times per series. It is in those situations that first-class experience counts.

"He deserves his crack at this level," the vice-captain, Haddin, said. "He's an experienced guy. He's been around state cricket now for a good part of 10 years. I don't think he'll get overawed by the occasion. And from what we've seen, the higher the level he plays the better cricket he responds to. From that point of view we're excited about him having his first crack."

The coach, Darren Lehmann, echoed the theme: "The pleasing thing from my point of view is he's quite calm. It is going to get heated at some stage during the summer and hopefully he's going to hold us in good stead."

Being cool under pressure isn't enough, of course. Rob Quiney was described as having similar traits when he was called up against South Africa last summer. He did not manage to reach double figures in two Tests, and was gone. Bailey might fail as well. If he does, it will test the resolve of John Inverarity's selection panel. Do they pick and stick, or pick and flick?

"I'm as excited as anyone to find out how I measure up," Bailey said. "At this age you probably only get one crack at it. There's no point going out there and trying to bat like anyone else or be a cricketer that you're not. This will be my one chance so I'll give it all I've got."

And by the end of the summer, Bailey - and his critics - will know once and for all if he's really, really good enough.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ben2014 on November 12, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    Bailey did an excellent job as the leader and as a batsman during the ODI series with India. He was not extravagant but batted sensibly and led from the front. So it is no surprise that he finds himself as part of the Ashes series though he specifically said that he was not aiming for a place. Bailey definitely possesses the cool head that is required for stabilizing an innings. Who knows, he along with Chris Rogers will be the ones to plug the current whole for a couple of years. We'll know in a few weeks time.

  • cricketfanwrites on November 14, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    I hope it works. This is the same CA selection committee that pick David Hussey for the India tour (tests) because they deemed that he was too old. I have nothing against the selection of Bailey given his recent form in the short formats. Having said that, what message is CA sending to Doolan and others.

  • stormy16 on November 14, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    I would have gone for Doolan but Aus of late are convinced the way forward is experienced hands (Haddin, Rogers) in the current side. Baily is calm and experienced and kind of 'grew' on you after the initial George who? It may work out and as Baily says this is probably a once in lifetime shot for him. I would have rather opted for even Khawaja (where is Marsh) than an older player. After all what has Baily done to get the nod ahead of Kawaja in the longer version? Yes he was awesome in India but I think we agree that is not the basis of his selection. Interesting move and we all await the first test.

  • on November 14, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @HOMEBREW : The attitude of the selectors seems to be that Cameron White has 'had his chance', which is unfair. All his best cricket against international teams has been up the order (when he replaced an injured Ponting during an Ashes ODI series he briefly shot to the ICC top ten from batting at #3) but he's been pretty consistently consigned to bat at 7 in ODIs and T20s and had trouble with the need to rush his scores. I think he got four tests but they were all as a specialist spinner, batting at 8 which is a criminal waste of his talents. If Watson can't bowl, White should be number 3. But it looks like it will never happen.

  • TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on November 14, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Another error by the selectors - he is simply not good enough for test cricket.

  • on November 14, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    The best bats last summer were Ricky Ponting, Phil Hughes, Brad Haddin, Chris Rogers and Alex Doolan. With Mark Cosgrove and Usman Khawaja and a host of others like Cameron White behind them.

    They got Haddin and Rogers back, good on them. But Phil Hughes has once again had his career stop started after another go round. Mark Cosgrove is about as close to selection as Steve O'Keefe, in other words might as well try to move to England and get citizenship.

    Khawaja and Ed Cowan have had a pretty reasonable crack at proving themselves adequete test players, I don't think people should rate Khawaja as highly as they do personally and I don't think we can claim these two players have been hard done by.

    Personally I'd prefer to see Warner at 6 and Cosgrove and Doolan at 2 and 3. Bailey's ODI form should never have even been a consideration in my opinion.

  • ToneMalone on November 13, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    Good to see Bailey getting his chance. As Haddin said, he seems to be one of those players who rises to meet the standard of opposition - I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up with a better average in Tests than in state FC cricket. And at this stage, if Australia can find a level-headed, team man who averages 40ish at no 5-6, it'd be a step in the right direction. The only problem for Bailey is that, if Watson isn't fit to bowl, this may all be moot. You'd then need Faulkner in the side, if nothing else to ensure Ryan Harris isn't overworked - especially if the Mitch experiment fails. So ... hoping Watson can bowl, and look forward to seeing how Bailey goes.

  • ScottStevo on November 13, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    @dungerbob, probably or not! Hope he does as he's going to play every test no matter what, so we'll need him to score runs. What's needed from him is to stop getting 40,50,60 and go on and make tons. Also, he needs to tighten up when the ball is moving. Once he gets going though, his strokes are unorthodox and conventional field places won't cut it. Be interesting to see how Cook would adapt if he did go, as you say, super nova! I like the look of that middle order though...

  • latecut_04 on November 13, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    @F-your comparison of Bailey with Hussey is interesting.Although there is no way he can match 'Mr.Cricket' in terms of talent couple of interesting observations.When Hussey got selected many people who knsaw hil play were asking 'why did he have to wait till 30 to be selected'.Now upon Bailey's selection many are asking 'why should a 31 year old without a strong FC record be selected'.When Huss retired at 37 whole world asked 'WHY'.Will Bailey make people ask that all important WHY after 6 years OR 60 days.The answer will define him as test cricketer.

  • dunger.bob on November 13, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    I like the idea of Clarke, Smith and Bailey in the middle order. Three much maligned cricketers but all 3 capable of doing a very good job. .. Prediction. Watch Smith open up like one of those big telescope things. He's going to nail himself some serious runs in this series. Wobbly technique or not, he's going to explode like a super nova and be the difference. Or not.

  • Ben2014 on November 12, 2013, 22:05 GMT

    Bailey did an excellent job as the leader and as a batsman during the ODI series with India. He was not extravagant but batted sensibly and led from the front. So it is no surprise that he finds himself as part of the Ashes series though he specifically said that he was not aiming for a place. Bailey definitely possesses the cool head that is required for stabilizing an innings. Who knows, he along with Chris Rogers will be the ones to plug the current whole for a couple of years. We'll know in a few weeks time.

  • cricketfanwrites on November 14, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    I hope it works. This is the same CA selection committee that pick David Hussey for the India tour (tests) because they deemed that he was too old. I have nothing against the selection of Bailey given his recent form in the short formats. Having said that, what message is CA sending to Doolan and others.

  • stormy16 on November 14, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    I would have gone for Doolan but Aus of late are convinced the way forward is experienced hands (Haddin, Rogers) in the current side. Baily is calm and experienced and kind of 'grew' on you after the initial George who? It may work out and as Baily says this is probably a once in lifetime shot for him. I would have rather opted for even Khawaja (where is Marsh) than an older player. After all what has Baily done to get the nod ahead of Kawaja in the longer version? Yes he was awesome in India but I think we agree that is not the basis of his selection. Interesting move and we all await the first test.

  • on November 14, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    @HOMEBREW : The attitude of the selectors seems to be that Cameron White has 'had his chance', which is unfair. All his best cricket against international teams has been up the order (when he replaced an injured Ponting during an Ashes ODI series he briefly shot to the ICC top ten from batting at #3) but he's been pretty consistently consigned to bat at 7 in ODIs and T20s and had trouble with the need to rush his scores. I think he got four tests but they were all as a specialist spinner, batting at 8 which is a criminal waste of his talents. If Watson can't bowl, White should be number 3. But it looks like it will never happen.

  • TEST_CRICKET_ONLY on November 14, 2013, 1:46 GMT

    Another error by the selectors - he is simply not good enough for test cricket.

  • on November 14, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    The best bats last summer were Ricky Ponting, Phil Hughes, Brad Haddin, Chris Rogers and Alex Doolan. With Mark Cosgrove and Usman Khawaja and a host of others like Cameron White behind them.

    They got Haddin and Rogers back, good on them. But Phil Hughes has once again had his career stop started after another go round. Mark Cosgrove is about as close to selection as Steve O'Keefe, in other words might as well try to move to England and get citizenship.

    Khawaja and Ed Cowan have had a pretty reasonable crack at proving themselves adequete test players, I don't think people should rate Khawaja as highly as they do personally and I don't think we can claim these two players have been hard done by.

    Personally I'd prefer to see Warner at 6 and Cosgrove and Doolan at 2 and 3. Bailey's ODI form should never have even been a consideration in my opinion.

  • ToneMalone on November 13, 2013, 22:49 GMT

    Good to see Bailey getting his chance. As Haddin said, he seems to be one of those players who rises to meet the standard of opposition - I wouldn't be surprised if he ends up with a better average in Tests than in state FC cricket. And at this stage, if Australia can find a level-headed, team man who averages 40ish at no 5-6, it'd be a step in the right direction. The only problem for Bailey is that, if Watson isn't fit to bowl, this may all be moot. You'd then need Faulkner in the side, if nothing else to ensure Ryan Harris isn't overworked - especially if the Mitch experiment fails. So ... hoping Watson can bowl, and look forward to seeing how Bailey goes.

  • ScottStevo on November 13, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    @dungerbob, probably or not! Hope he does as he's going to play every test no matter what, so we'll need him to score runs. What's needed from him is to stop getting 40,50,60 and go on and make tons. Also, he needs to tighten up when the ball is moving. Once he gets going though, his strokes are unorthodox and conventional field places won't cut it. Be interesting to see how Cook would adapt if he did go, as you say, super nova! I like the look of that middle order though...

  • latecut_04 on November 13, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    @F-your comparison of Bailey with Hussey is interesting.Although there is no way he can match 'Mr.Cricket' in terms of talent couple of interesting observations.When Hussey got selected many people who knsaw hil play were asking 'why did he have to wait till 30 to be selected'.Now upon Bailey's selection many are asking 'why should a 31 year old without a strong FC record be selected'.When Huss retired at 37 whole world asked 'WHY'.Will Bailey make people ask that all important WHY after 6 years OR 60 days.The answer will define him as test cricketer.

  • dunger.bob on November 13, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    I like the idea of Clarke, Smith and Bailey in the middle order. Three much maligned cricketers but all 3 capable of doing a very good job. .. Prediction. Watch Smith open up like one of those big telescope things. He's going to nail himself some serious runs in this series. Wobbly technique or not, he's going to explode like a super nova and be the difference. Or not.

  • smudgeon on November 13, 2013, 1:02 GMT

    Sir_Francis - the difference (well, one of) between Chris Rogers and David Hussey is that Rogers made runs leading up to his selection. Only a minor difference, though, probably not important. Meety - welcome back, chap...you've been missed.

  • Rowayton on November 13, 2013, 0:07 GMT

    I reckon Ayush Verma has it right. Bailey's probably a good selection because he appears to have the temperament for it. That is where Hughes and Khawaja have really been found out - they spend their whole Test batting career looking nervous and unsettled. As I've said before about Bailey, I don't think a limited stroke range is that important so long as the player knows his own game. By the way, nice to see Finch last out 7 balls today - that makes a grand total of 9 in his three first class innings this season.

  • HOMEBREW on November 12, 2013, 21:55 GMT

    I'm not a Victorian, but how is Cameron White not in the side?????????????????????????????????

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 12, 2013, 20:36 GMT

    I don't know if Bailey will succeed. After all, as so many people have pointed out, in a handful of Sheffield Shield games last year, while not playing ODIs and T20s for Australia, he averaged just 18. Of course, what they don't say is that in his last full Sheffield Shield season he averaged 58, and in his last first class season, of county cricket in England, he averaged mid 30s. Sure, not phenomenal stats, but a lot better than the supposed average of 18. The guy has, so far, shown that he can play above himself under pressure. His domestic ODI and T20 records aren't all that good but his international records are. If he can do the same thing in tests, then he will be a gun. I don't know if he will do it. He may be like Shaun Marsh and have a massive fall from grace, or like Rob Quiney and never have a good start at all. But perhaps he will be like Faf du Plessis, a so-called ODI player, who on test debut, and every test since, showed that he can handle the big time.

  • Meety on November 12, 2013, 20:03 GMT

    @Gordo85 on (November 12, 2013, 13:58 GMT) - as for White - YES, his form has been good this season, but he needs to keep producing as his form previously has been abysmal. Two FC matches do not reverse two seasons of mediocrity. I hope he continues to perform because he is stilll young enuff to have a decent Test career.

  • Meety on November 12, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    @Gordo85 on (November 12, 2013, 13:58 GMT) - geez,have you been asleep for the past 4 years? I know you haven't actually because of the constant misguided pining over that period. David Hussey has been dropped from the Vic team, his FC form has been sub par for ages. His ODI & 20/20 form has dipped just when the NSP were really going to select him (even DHussey himself said he felt genuinely that they were looking at picking him). The DHussey train has departed. Maybe if he had scored runs in the Ryobi, maybe if he had scored runs in the first 2 rounds of the Shield there could be some talk of him. He didn't. He is unfortunately - goooone! Regarding Haddin - he is amongst the best Keeper/Batsmen Oz have ever produced (on batting stats). So once you bagged him because he was a batsmen who couldn't keep - now he is a keeper who cant bat? Warner is one of Oz's better performing batsmen since being selected & I suspect with a girlfriend who is pro-sports - Warner will blossom. TBC

  • on November 12, 2013, 20:00 GMT

    They say Cricekt is 40% talent and 60% temparament, and boy, Bailey scores full marks their. He has a calm head, lots of experience and most importantly is in form. I won't be surprised if he turns out to be Mike Hussey version 2.0 in a couple of years.

  • on November 12, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    I can't believe there are so many people who don't rate Clarke as a leader. It's funny: those who know a bit about cricket disagree. Ask any former captain about Clarke's tactics and they all agree - he is very sharp. As for what happens in the dressing room - none of us know what goes on. I can tell you one thing: the younger players love him. At least that's what is coming out of the talk among players from the Sydney grade cricket scene.

  • milepost on November 12, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Oh and blink182alex, I agree entirely with your comment.

  • milepost on November 12, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    LillianThomson, he averages the same as Prior. He is THE top scoring batsman in one day cricket in the world this year (most innings were away from home) and he captains Australia. He is 31, he could easily play tests for another 5 years and still not be too old. I am eternally grateful that you are not a selector, thank goodness! Good selection. He is in the team now. Back him.

  • popcorn on November 12, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    For all his dteractors, please remember: The Number 6 position is a very important position that requires solidity and dependability- ask Bill Lawry.There is no better batsman after Mike Hussey than George Bailey for this spot.Additionally,his maturity,calm leadership and mental strength will be valuable around the players.Watch this space!

  • on November 12, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    CSA can use Clarke's suspect back as a "reason" to replace him with Bialey both as a reliable batsman in the Hussey mode and a great Captain! Oz team will get back to its better days much faster!

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on November 12, 2013, 14:47 GMT

    I am starting to think that Bailey is getting picked more for the possibility that Clarke's back is worse than we have heard and leadership will be needed. Although Bailey's captaincy has produced many wins or success at ODI level. While his batting is good in the short form, his very short range of shots that are risky will have him found out quick smart and he will be lucky to still be in the side by the fifth test.

  • xtrafalgarx on November 12, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    @Sir_Francis: Dave Hussey is a good player, but is one of those batsmen who when he goes through a bad trot, it's really bad. As we speak he has been dropped from the Victorian Shield side, and rightly so too, he only averaged 22 last year even though he got a hundred and a fifty. He only averaged 26 in the Ryobi cup this year, and started off poorly in the shield this year.

  • Gordo85 on November 12, 2013, 13:58 GMT

    I seriously have to agree with Sir_Francis David Hussey has not done anything wrong. But you know why they won't select him for Test Cricket because they think he is short format specialist which is not true but if David Hussey is then why is Dave Warner even in the team because he is a lot like David Hussey. It was shocking when Warner played his first Test and my theory was if you pick Warner well then you have to pick Hussey as well otherwise you contradict yourself and guess what they sure made a meal of it. A good thing about Bailey though is that the fact he is playing in the Test Team it basically means that they could have ditched Haddin and gone for Hartley and or Wade, because then they could have made Bailey vice captain and to be perfectly honest Haddin should not even be vice captain. Haddin did well behind the stumps but Australia won't win the Ashes while he is in the team you need a keeper who can make runs as well. Also Cameron White could have been a good number six.

  • CM1000 on November 12, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    It all depends on Watson's fitness. If Watson can't bowl, they have to play Faulkner - Johnson needs to be used differently this time around, with short bursts of intimidation, and they shouldn't risk over-bowling Harris because they are in big trouble if he gets injured, with no Pattinson, Bird, Cummins, Starc or even Hazlewood available for Adelaide. If Watson can't play at all, do they re-jig the order and push Clarke up to where he hasn't had near as much success (given how much they need him scoring big runs like the last two Australian summers), or play Bailey at 3 on debut for minimal disruption to the Oval order, or bring in Doolan as another No.3 debutant/experiment? I'm not a huge Watson fan, but for the team's confidence and continuity following the Oval, I think they have to play him even if he can only bat. And can you risk him being needed to bowl 20-30 overs coming back from a hamstring injury? I think not, which means Faulkner and not Bailey, until Watson can bowl.

  • on November 12, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Hell why not, couldn't be any worse then some of the batters we saw in England and India recently

  • Chris_P on November 12, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    @blink182alex. I like Bailey, like him a lot, but last season's efforts in the Shield make for poor reading. And the game against Qld showed nothing to press his claims. That said, I really hope he goes well, for he does have the technique & application to succeed. You want to know why Chappell rates MoHen? Try his averaging over 60 last season in both England & Australia with the bat, less than 21 with the ball in both countries. I would suggest they are credentials that bear taking some notice. He probably needs a few games for NSW to press his claims again after the pointless exercise of taking him to India & not playing him, but this guy has got serious talent, more importantly he is starting to deliver on it. He is outstripping Watson on the first class field, and by a fair margin as well.

  • sherishahmir on November 12, 2013, 12:59 GMT

    I guess G Bailey (GB) should be the captain of Australian Test and ODI teams too in place of M Clarke for his outstanding individual performance, captain-ship material and calmness in crunch situations. Like Hussey, what a talent waste done by the ACB to keep GB out of national team as he is deserved all this respect.

  • blink182alex on November 12, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    I think Bailey will go fine. There are certain players who step up and play better internationally than they do domestically and i think Bailey will continue to do so. Quiney was a poor selection last year, that place should of gone to Rogers.

    Used to value Chappelli's view on players but his way off with this one. How can he seriously promote the idea of Henriques at 6. Seriously, what's this fasination with having an all rounder in the team, let the bowlers bowl and batters make the runs, selecting a guy like Henriques who will average 25 with the bat in tests and around 40 with the ball is not going to help win any test matches.

  • Chris_P on November 12, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    @Sir_Francis. Yep, you're right. Poor DH played all last season for Victoria & averaged 23, then has had 3 innings this season totalling 64 runs in 3 digs. Has the penny dropped yet on why he isn't currently needed? BTW, he has just been dropped from the Victorian Shield team, that means Victoria currently do not rate him in their best playing XI, yet you still think he earns a start in the Aussie line-up? Interesting, to say the least.

  • Subodh.yeole119 on November 12, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    Stay calm n have faith in Bailey people!!! He is going to be only the sixth player in cricket history to score a double ton on Test Debut!! Mark my words..

  • Dashgar on November 12, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Right choice. Should have been given a baggy green a few years ago when he was piling up runs for Tassie and Aus A. Now that he's got his chance on the basis of ODI runs he'll get criticism but the fact is he's good enough to score big runs in tests and there aren't many in Australia who fit that criteria.

  • wix99 on November 12, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja have already played Test cricket and deserve another chance. Or the selectors could have looked to the future and selected Nic Maddinson. Alex Doolan, Cameron White, Phil Hughes and a few others are probably also wondering what it will take to get into the Test team.

  • Sir_Francis on November 12, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Yes, he's also no David Hussey either. Hussey as twice as many FC runs as Bailey and a 13 run better average! And is the same age as Chris Rogers. David Hussey must have done something bad to be completely ignored when he's really needed.

  • on November 12, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    I'm backing him to do well. The pitches will be flat i'd magine and you'd think he'll be coming in at 6 against an old ball and hopefully tiring bowlers. He's the sort of bloke that should be able to work his way through periods of good bowling without losing his cool and giving his wicket away, a trait most of our younger batsmen simply haven't learnt yet. Read what you will into his stats but he is a composed figure on the field and at an age where he knows himself and his game inside out. Doolan, while promising has had 12 months of solid performances but is really not what you'd consider the finished article just yet, if he keeps performing his chance will come but at this point he has had zero international cricket and we just can't know how he'd stack up at all.

  • HatsforBats on November 12, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    I think I've finally come around to the idea of Bailey in the test team. I've started thinking of him as an Aussie version of Collingwood; limited in technique and strokeplay, but full of grit and work ethic. Plus he's a very good fielder and an astute tactician; he'd be a much better VC than Watson. He's just what we need.

  • on November 12, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Bailey's like Dwayne Smith, of course with a much better temperament. Very on-sided, can't cut or cover drive, awkward in backfoot defence. Might still do well on flat track once the ball's lost its shine. But will need to find a way to rotate strike and keep Swann out. Would have struggled against left arm spin but Panesar won't be playing.

  • Fareen on November 12, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    I can't agree more with this article and even though Faulkner will be terribly unlucky to miss out, Bailey has to play. Him with Clarke and Watson in the middle order will provide a much needed stability which Australia lacked in the last Ashes. Also, those who are criticizing Bailey saying he only scored in the Indian dead pitches, check out what he did for Australia before that very series. He's been really consistent and I'm sure will be a success in the upcoming Ashes.

  • on November 12, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Well done Bailey. Like he says, he might fail but his awareness of the rarified air he'd be breathing in, is pleasing. Thus far, he has stepped up every time. It is a bit disconcerting though, to see Quiney, Bailey, Doolan - all with FC average on wrong side of 40, being the hopefuls, especially after we were bred no so long ago on Hodge, Lehmann, Hussey and Jacques (all averaging nearly 50) struggling to get a look in..

  • LillianThomson on November 12, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    What a ridiculous selection, on a par with Quiney last year.

    An Aussie in his thirties with a First Class average in the thirties is a last cause for a Test career.

    And runs against Indian bowling to defensive fields on dead wickets are not going to help him against Anderson's away swing with a packed slip cordon.

  • LillianThomson on November 12, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    What a ridiculous selection, on a par with Quiney last year.

    An Aussie in his thirties with a First Class average in the thirties is a last cause for a Test career.

    And runs against Indian bowling to defensive fields on dead wickets are not going to help him against Anderson's away swing with a packed slip cordon.

  • on November 12, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Well done Bailey. Like he says, he might fail but his awareness of the rarified air he'd be breathing in, is pleasing. Thus far, he has stepped up every time. It is a bit disconcerting though, to see Quiney, Bailey, Doolan - all with FC average on wrong side of 40, being the hopefuls, especially after we were bred no so long ago on Hodge, Lehmann, Hussey and Jacques (all averaging nearly 50) struggling to get a look in..

  • Fareen on November 12, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    I can't agree more with this article and even though Faulkner will be terribly unlucky to miss out, Bailey has to play. Him with Clarke and Watson in the middle order will provide a much needed stability which Australia lacked in the last Ashes. Also, those who are criticizing Bailey saying he only scored in the Indian dead pitches, check out what he did for Australia before that very series. He's been really consistent and I'm sure will be a success in the upcoming Ashes.

  • on November 12, 2013, 10:42 GMT

    Bailey's like Dwayne Smith, of course with a much better temperament. Very on-sided, can't cut or cover drive, awkward in backfoot defence. Might still do well on flat track once the ball's lost its shine. But will need to find a way to rotate strike and keep Swann out. Would have struggled against left arm spin but Panesar won't be playing.

  • HatsforBats on November 12, 2013, 10:46 GMT

    I think I've finally come around to the idea of Bailey in the test team. I've started thinking of him as an Aussie version of Collingwood; limited in technique and strokeplay, but full of grit and work ethic. Plus he's a very good fielder and an astute tactician; he'd be a much better VC than Watson. He's just what we need.

  • on November 12, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    I'm backing him to do well. The pitches will be flat i'd magine and you'd think he'll be coming in at 6 against an old ball and hopefully tiring bowlers. He's the sort of bloke that should be able to work his way through periods of good bowling without losing his cool and giving his wicket away, a trait most of our younger batsmen simply haven't learnt yet. Read what you will into his stats but he is a composed figure on the field and at an age where he knows himself and his game inside out. Doolan, while promising has had 12 months of solid performances but is really not what you'd consider the finished article just yet, if he keeps performing his chance will come but at this point he has had zero international cricket and we just can't know how he'd stack up at all.

  • Sir_Francis on November 12, 2013, 10:59 GMT

    Yes, he's also no David Hussey either. Hussey as twice as many FC runs as Bailey and a 13 run better average! And is the same age as Chris Rogers. David Hussey must have done something bad to be completely ignored when he's really needed.

  • wix99 on November 12, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja have already played Test cricket and deserve another chance. Or the selectors could have looked to the future and selected Nic Maddinson. Alex Doolan, Cameron White, Phil Hughes and a few others are probably also wondering what it will take to get into the Test team.

  • Dashgar on November 12, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Right choice. Should have been given a baggy green a few years ago when he was piling up runs for Tassie and Aus A. Now that he's got his chance on the basis of ODI runs he'll get criticism but the fact is he's good enough to score big runs in tests and there aren't many in Australia who fit that criteria.

  • Subodh.yeole119 on November 12, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    Stay calm n have faith in Bailey people!!! He is going to be only the sixth player in cricket history to score a double ton on Test Debut!! Mark my words..