The Ashes 2013-14 November 17, 2013

'This build-up is completely different' - Bailey

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A Gabba Test, a so-called good bloke making his debut at 30-plus, a sense of uncertainty about whether he will make it as a Test batsman - it could just as easily be last year's build-up to the first Test against South Africa as this summer's lead-up to the Ashes. But the debutant this time around, George Bailey, hopes his Test career will be longer than that of his counterpart from last year, Rob Quiney, and he has picked Quiney's brains over the past few days for advice.

Quiney was thrust into the No. 3 position against Dale Steyn and Co., and was unable to reach double figures in any of his three innings in Brisbane or Adelaide, before being dropped to make way for the returning Shane Watson. The situation this year is a little different for Bailey, for he will come in lower down in the order - most likely No. 6 - and he is not standing in for an injured player, meaning a stable place in the side could be his if the runs flow.

But just like Quiney, Bailey knows that a couple of failures will have the selectors rethinking their decision, and that foray into the baggy green may be shorter than he would like. Bailey flew in to Brisbane on Sunday ahead of the first Test and said he had spoken to Quiney during the Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and Victoria in Hobart, as well as to other Test players like Xavier Doherty and Matthew Wade, about how to handle the big moment.

"Having been around this side for a little bit I know what it's like but I think this build-up is going to be completely different so there's a sense of anticipation there and not really sure what it's all going to be like," Bailey told reporters in Brisbane. "But I've had the chance to talk to Bobby Quiney and Wadey and Xavier Doherty over the last few days and the overriding thing from them is just been to make sure you enjoy it and sometimes in these situations you have to remind yourself of that because there's a lot going on.


"I wanted to talk to Bobby to see how his perspective was and see how he felt about his couple of Tests, how he dealt with the pressure and expectation externally and how he dealt with it himself. He's a good man to talk to, such a terrific bloke and down to earth. It was a big adjustment. The main message from him was to make sure you enjoy it, which is the main message that past players have drilled into me. The way Bobby batted this week he's back to his best which is great to see."

Quiney was Man of the Match in Victoria's win in Hobart for his 82 and 86, while Bailey had to settle for a couple of starts of 37 and 16, to add to the 34 and 41 he made against Queensland at Allan Border Field the previous week. They are not the kind of giant scores he posted during the one-day series in India, which made him impossible to overlook in the eyes of the selectors, but he is confident the adjustment back to the red ball has done him good in any case.

"I've felt pretty good the last couple of games," Bailey said. "Obviously it's going to be a pretty different wicket, the Gabba wicket compared to the two we've played on where bowleds and lbws were the preferred mode of dismissal, so it will be good to get on something with more bounce.


"I've enjoyed having a couple of games and getting in nets and getting used to different tempo, that's as big an adjustment as anything, but it was nice to play those games. I'm still feeling really good, a bit frustrated I haven't been able to go on with starts but in terms of how I'm feeling and hitting the ball, couldn't be happier."


At 31, Bailey will be the oldest batsman to make his Test debut for Australia in 34 years, since Jeff Moss was handed a baggy green during the World Series Cricket rift. Having already stepped up in the shorter formats at international level over the past two years, Bailey hopes he will be able to handle the atmosphere of Test cricket as well, but knows it will be a vastly different occasion to anything he has experienced before.

"I'm not sure being older makes it easier but I think having played the other formats, in terms of with crowd build-up, media stuff, that will be a little bit easier to handle," Bailey said. "The advantage of being 31...you only get one crack at it, so I'll go out there, I'll be me. I'll play the way I play and I won't go out trying to be anything but myself. And that's a good thing."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 18, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    Well, Bailey looked the only perfect batsman to get that #6 spot for Gabba. Only if Bailey had failed in India, he wouldve lost that spot to Doolan or North. But it again looks like either Bailey will take over and re-adapt himself to the red-ball game, or will just flatten out and leave the selectors some doubts about reselecting him for Adelaide. So only two outcomes possible, either Bailey will score runs and lift the team if/when the top order fails, or he will simply come in and go out facing a steaming Jimmy Anderson late swinging the ball at 140 K's. But believe me, if Bailey gets going, this Ashes will not only come back to Australia, but also be known as "Bailey's Ashes". Mark my words! Only IF he does!

  • on November 19, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    the irony is, the best number 6 is there already. Unfortunately, he opens.

  • on November 18, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Bailey may not be the best test player but Aus dont have any other option, they have already tried khwaja, hughes, cowan. Watson , Smith , Clarke & Bailey all right handers will form the middle order along with warner & rogers. The only doubt we have is for johnson, to fit johnson u have to drop either a spinner or in form faulkner. Aus bowling will definitely be having an advantage over Eng but their batting will let down them in ASHES. its going to be 3-0 or 3-1 again this time in Eng favour.

  • funkybluesman on November 18, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Not sure he's asking advice of the right people regarding handling playing test cricket. Three guys who haven't at all been up to test cricket.

  • on November 18, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Bailey is too good. look forward to him playing well against England. Maxwell should also be in the team. so they have missed a trick there. I support England but like to see Bailey do well.

  • johnnycash on November 18, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    Dare I say it but this is a strong Australian side. The addition of Bailey only makes it stronger. Good luck to Front-Foot-Lunge, Hammond, Red and White Army, Train Stationer etc, but your team is going to need it. The Gabba is a stronghold and AUSTRALIA have built an imposing record here. Stats can be twisted to support any argument, especially when it comes to cricket. I think I have read just about every stat on this website in the past few months, mostly from Englans diehards. The biggest stat for this game that starts on Thursday will be who wins the toss and sends the opposition into bat.

  • PFEL on November 18, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    If any logic whatsoever was being used by anyone involved then Faulkner would be picked ahead of Bailey for this Test. Especially if Watson can't bowl. In batting alone Faulkner has shown significantly better first-class ability, and his form in the ODIs in India was just as good as Bailey.

    Good luck to George though, he's one of my favourite players and I hope he has a Mike Hussey-like career.

  • Lmaotsetung on November 18, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    @gsingh7 if Cook wasn't captain he wouldn't even be near the ODI side...enuff said! That being said Cook's avg has gone up since he took over as captain as well as scoring his highest 100 during that period. And please don't use a journeyman playing in a meaningless test series at home as examples. That's like Eng organizing a 2 test home series against New Zealand as Cook's farewell match and Alex Hales just happens to hit 2 centuries

  • kensohatter on November 18, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Whilst I wish George Bailey all the best I simply dont understand this selection. At least Rob Quiney had a mountain of shield runs, state player of the year prior to his selection. Same can be said for Marcus North. If we are going to pick a 30+yr old then id prefer either of those two. Quiney got out to a very good SA attack and North scored runs. How bout we select guys for the future like Doolan

  • Shaggy076 on November 17, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Milhouse79; In the recent games against South Africa, Clarke was in early on a couple of occasions before scoring double tons against Steyn and Morkel so doubt he is too worried about Broad and a new ball. I'd rate these guys over Broad. Lets see if Broad has improved from his last tour down here, last time the turning point was dropping Broad and Finn and bringing in Bresnan and Tremlett.

  • on November 18, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    Well, Bailey looked the only perfect batsman to get that #6 spot for Gabba. Only if Bailey had failed in India, he wouldve lost that spot to Doolan or North. But it again looks like either Bailey will take over and re-adapt himself to the red-ball game, or will just flatten out and leave the selectors some doubts about reselecting him for Adelaide. So only two outcomes possible, either Bailey will score runs and lift the team if/when the top order fails, or he will simply come in and go out facing a steaming Jimmy Anderson late swinging the ball at 140 K's. But believe me, if Bailey gets going, this Ashes will not only come back to Australia, but also be known as "Bailey's Ashes". Mark my words! Only IF he does!

  • on November 19, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    the irony is, the best number 6 is there already. Unfortunately, he opens.

  • on November 18, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Bailey may not be the best test player but Aus dont have any other option, they have already tried khwaja, hughes, cowan. Watson , Smith , Clarke & Bailey all right handers will form the middle order along with warner & rogers. The only doubt we have is for johnson, to fit johnson u have to drop either a spinner or in form faulkner. Aus bowling will definitely be having an advantage over Eng but their batting will let down them in ASHES. its going to be 3-0 or 3-1 again this time in Eng favour.

  • funkybluesman on November 18, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Not sure he's asking advice of the right people regarding handling playing test cricket. Three guys who haven't at all been up to test cricket.

  • on November 18, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Bailey is too good. look forward to him playing well against England. Maxwell should also be in the team. so they have missed a trick there. I support England but like to see Bailey do well.

  • johnnycash on November 18, 2013, 2:51 GMT

    Dare I say it but this is a strong Australian side. The addition of Bailey only makes it stronger. Good luck to Front-Foot-Lunge, Hammond, Red and White Army, Train Stationer etc, but your team is going to need it. The Gabba is a stronghold and AUSTRALIA have built an imposing record here. Stats can be twisted to support any argument, especially when it comes to cricket. I think I have read just about every stat on this website in the past few months, mostly from Englans diehards. The biggest stat for this game that starts on Thursday will be who wins the toss and sends the opposition into bat.

  • PFEL on November 18, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    If any logic whatsoever was being used by anyone involved then Faulkner would be picked ahead of Bailey for this Test. Especially if Watson can't bowl. In batting alone Faulkner has shown significantly better first-class ability, and his form in the ODIs in India was just as good as Bailey.

    Good luck to George though, he's one of my favourite players and I hope he has a Mike Hussey-like career.

  • Lmaotsetung on November 18, 2013, 1:56 GMT

    @gsingh7 if Cook wasn't captain he wouldn't even be near the ODI side...enuff said! That being said Cook's avg has gone up since he took over as captain as well as scoring his highest 100 during that period. And please don't use a journeyman playing in a meaningless test series at home as examples. That's like Eng organizing a 2 test home series against New Zealand as Cook's farewell match and Alex Hales just happens to hit 2 centuries

  • kensohatter on November 18, 2013, 1:20 GMT

    Whilst I wish George Bailey all the best I simply dont understand this selection. At least Rob Quiney had a mountain of shield runs, state player of the year prior to his selection. Same can be said for Marcus North. If we are going to pick a 30+yr old then id prefer either of those two. Quiney got out to a very good SA attack and North scored runs. How bout we select guys for the future like Doolan

  • Shaggy076 on November 17, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Milhouse79; In the recent games against South Africa, Clarke was in early on a couple of occasions before scoring double tons against Steyn and Morkel so doubt he is too worried about Broad and a new ball. I'd rate these guys over Broad. Lets see if Broad has improved from his last tour down here, last time the turning point was dropping Broad and Finn and bringing in Bresnan and Tremlett.

  • MrKricket on November 17, 2013, 22:35 GMT

    After Hughes scored a double hundred I wouldn't be surprised to see him back to fail again. Then Khawaja, ditto. These guys get so many chances while others don't. I'd rather see others like Doolan and Maddinson tried before going back to those two. Hopefully Bailey will be like M Hussey when he started in Tests - he hit the ground running and didn't stop for a long time.

  • landl47 on November 17, 2013, 22:11 GMT

    Occasionally there are players who perform better at test level than FC. Paul Collingwood was one. Maybe George Bailey will be the same.

    Anyway, he's a good guy and deserves to succeed. Australia's Man of the Series in a losing cause would be perfect.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on November 17, 2013, 19:37 GMT

    Bailey averaged 18 last year in shield cricket (currently one of the weakest systems in the world) and at 31 is supposedly the next generation of stock in the absence of anyone younger. One day cricket isn't Test cricket, as so many Ozzie players, whose careers were finished off by the Ashes, have found out in the past. I'd like to see some entertaining, even if predictably brief, cricket from Bailey in the 1st test, but we all saw what England's bowlers did to Australia's batsmen the last time (only a couple of months ago), the time before that and the time before that. They've been just too good for a long time. I can't see Bailey being able to glue together the entire Oz batting order, which in essence is what it comes down to for Australia in modern day Ashes matches.

  • ramli on November 17, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    CSK experience should be enough for Bailey to shine whenever he gets an opportunity to play in XI ... because, he knows the frustration of warming the bench endlessly ... all the best to Bailey from CSK fan

  • popcorn on November 17, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    George Bailey will be the best thing that happened to Australian Cricket, mark my words. He is slotted at the most important position, in the void that Mike Hussey left at Number 6, and his maturity,leadership, balance and rock - solid play will frustrate the Poms. Enough of experimentation with the batting line -up. we have a settled side now,capable of beating the Poms. Note that THEY are NOT Settled- a new Opener, a New Number 6, a void in their fast bowling ranks after Bresnan.

  • usapsunil on November 17, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    Bailey should in playing 11 , in india he shown the class , and past one in in ODI's he is best performer , some playing are good @ international level , handle pressure good @ high level , even Bailey perofrmance is not good at first class , thr are high chances of his success at international level ... go on Bailey ..show u got that extra ...

  • Ragav999 on November 17, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    If Bailey manages to produce the same sort of upward leap in his test performance that he managed from his domestic List A career to ODI's, every Aussie fan will be overjoyed. I hope he produces at least a good 70 odd in his first test to convince the fickle selectors that he is the right choice. I believe that he will definitely cement his place in the Test side if he is given a chance for the entire Ashes. He might just be one of those exceptions who elevate their game in internationals compared to domestic games. Michael Clarke is another example who performed better in Tests than in Sheffield Shield.

  • on November 17, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Aussie needs Bailey.. after de retirement of pointing n hussey..he is de who fits in after clarke n he can b trusted.. n more chances shd b given to him..

  • Jaffa79 on November 17, 2013, 15:09 GMT

    Bailey seems to be a well organised player with a solid temperament. Probably what the Aussies need. Where the Ashes will be up front: if England can make early inroads the the Aussies are weak however Rogers does have stickability and if Watson can bat like he did at the Oval, then England could be in for a tough contest. However, if Rogers continues to struggle against Swann and if Watson bats like he did everywhere except the Oval, then England will be laughing. Clarke only likes facing the old ball and will be in trouble against Broad if he gets in early. Broad hit him for fun on slow English decks this summer, so expect that back to get hurt again as he ducks and weaves all summer long.

  • on November 17, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    aussie got another hussey in the face of bailey

  • on November 17, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    aussie got another hussey in the face of bailey

  • AKS286 on November 17, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Quiney was thirsty against African Deadly Barrage. He completely wasted his golden opportunity which any player can only dream and he is not lucky as khawaja. After that selectors never considered Rob. Yes Rob played to attack SA bowlers & played like revenge T20, never understand his tactics & game and other players not even talk to him in the ground. But Bailey is the sensible senior player and he is from the breed of Punter. No.6 is not an ideal position for him he should bat above to the order. Bailey proved himself in every responsibility that he has gotten. I think he'll prove himself in Test too. Poor minds still talk about domestic cricket.

  • milepost on November 17, 2013, 12:33 GMT

    Mitty 2 and ozcricketwriter I tend to agree. I have a feeling Faulkner will play and either Watto or Lyon will miss out.

  • Mitty2 on November 17, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    Really the best selection possible. All of Silk, Maddo, Lynn, Burns, Doolan (as evidenced with his dismissal to Anderson and a lot of inside edges that just missed the stumps in his recent shield innings - too loose outside of off stump) and Khawaja need more time in the Shield. The only real young batsman we can select now is Hughes, but despite his 81* there it's a fact that he's a poor starter against spin and should only come in as opener or 3. Ignoring the fact that he's a far option than the bowl-more-in-IPL-than-for-Australia Shane Watson who doesn't make any test team as a batter, Hughes can't push out any of the top 3. So if in the unlikely occasion that Bailey has to be dropped Warner should drop to 6 and Hughes open.

    I say unlikely because Bailey has always overcome the media and pressure. Not good enough for t20's... Wrong. Not good enough for ODI's... Wrong. Not good enough to captain... Wrong. And the all important question: is he good enough for tests? I say yes.

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 17, 2013, 12:19 GMT

    The more I think of it, the more I am leaning towards 5 bowlers. Faulkner has to play and, while Lyon isn't in particularly good form, he is our best spinner and perhaps we could do with the variety. At FC level, Faulkner is in better batting form than Bailey so perhaps Faulkner should be our number 6.

  • gsingh7 on November 17, 2013, 11:40 GMT

    @lmaosteng-tell me how well cook is doing in odis again? its not always black and white as u portray . rohit sharma hit two century in two test innings but have average scores in odis. compare that to yuvi who is a proven match winner in odis .

  • on November 17, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    talkedto this person and that person..why? he;S ALREADY THINKING too much. There is no need to talk to anyone... maybe he just wants to sound good and professional....all he needs to do is go and bat.

  • krish_buddy_truesaying on November 17, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    good to see bailey at no.6...d place where aussies struggl with their batting...waiting to see some gud knock from clarke and bailey

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on November 17, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    Go well George, a top selection.

  • milepost on November 17, 2013, 10:26 GMT

    The number one run scorer in ODI this year, mostly away from home and people question his selection? Pffttt.....

  • Sir_Ivor on November 17, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Best of luck to you George. I am sure you will get a 100. It is not because you are a nice chap but because you are good. It is just that you were not noticed all these years.

  • on November 17, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Bailey succeeded in ODIs and T20s, not because of his natural talent, but because of his approach and the complete understanding of his game. I am very sure that he will find a way out to succeed in the longer format as well.

  • on November 17, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    I hope Bailey succeeds and the aussies take the ashes 2-1.. Its a bit too much too ask soe arly but I do wish Bailey all the best for his debut. Its actaully a good thing he is making his debut late in his career cause it will be his only shot at the test arena. And in an uncanny way I wanna see Boyd Rankin do well too..

  • PrasPunter on November 17, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast, when I watched North scoring that brilliant ton on debut against SA, I thought that we have unearthed a technically-brilliant batsman who would hold forte for the next 5-6 years. Wondering where and why things went south for North. One of the finest batmen with a very tight technique, wish he is given another chance.

  • CodandChips on November 17, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Good luck Baile (just don't do too well) and even better luck to Carberry.

  • Lmaotsetung on November 17, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Easier to go from long format to the shorter one...harder the other way around. Ask the Indian superstars like Raina and Yuvraj

  • ZCFOutkast on November 17, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Rogers' selection has certainly spurred on a few guys. North gave up captaincy, dealt with his personal issues&reinvented himself as an opener. White's also given up captaincy, features in the higher middle order more and is probably the most run-hungry batsman in the whole of Australia right now(GB?). Quiney's always looked good but lacked luck. Besides, he can only get better! All these guys are brutally focused, and allround better than a lot of the incumbents in my opinion. Forget Watson: Current: rogers, quiney, bailey, clarkec, north, white, haddin, siddle, johnson, harris, lyon(12doolan) Future: sam robson, maddinson, warner, hughes, smithc, maxwell, wade, starc, pattinson, agar, cummins(12faulkner)

    I reckon the "current" side would beat the future side every day of the week, so why isn't it the XI for the Gabba! Of course the million dollar question is, would CA still install Clarke as captain of that team? Only consistency&discipline put Smith ahead of Hughes&Warner for capt.

  • on November 17, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    Good luck Bailey surely you will rock the big stage.

  • on November 17, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Am I missing something? Why would he be asking quiney for tips?

  • dunger.bob on November 17, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    " "The advantage of being 31...you only get one crack at it, so I'll go out there, I'll be me. I'll play the way I play and I won't go out trying to be anything but myself. And that's a good thing."

    That's the way to go George. Good luck out there. If guts and a clear head mean anything at all, you'll be all right. .. just trust your own game, if it's good enough you'll make some runs. If not, you can go back to the shield knowing you simply couldn't cut it skill wise. .. There's no shame in that, over the years thousands of very good cricketers have suffered the same fate.

  • dunger.bob on November 17, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    " "The advantage of being 31...you only get one crack at it, so I'll go out there, I'll be me. I'll play the way I play and I won't go out trying to be anything but myself. And that's a good thing."

    That's the way to go George. Good luck out there. If guts and a clear head mean anything at all, you'll be all right. .. just trust your own game, if it's good enough you'll make some runs. If not, you can go back to the shield knowing you simply couldn't cut it skill wise. .. There's no shame in that, over the years thousands of very good cricketers have suffered the same fate.

  • on November 17, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Am I missing something? Why would he be asking quiney for tips?

  • on November 17, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    Good luck Bailey surely you will rock the big stage.

  • ZCFOutkast on November 17, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    Rogers' selection has certainly spurred on a few guys. North gave up captaincy, dealt with his personal issues&reinvented himself as an opener. White's also given up captaincy, features in the higher middle order more and is probably the most run-hungry batsman in the whole of Australia right now(GB?). Quiney's always looked good but lacked luck. Besides, he can only get better! All these guys are brutally focused, and allround better than a lot of the incumbents in my opinion. Forget Watson: Current: rogers, quiney, bailey, clarkec, north, white, haddin, siddle, johnson, harris, lyon(12doolan) Future: sam robson, maddinson, warner, hughes, smithc, maxwell, wade, starc, pattinson, agar, cummins(12faulkner)

    I reckon the "current" side would beat the future side every day of the week, so why isn't it the XI for the Gabba! Of course the million dollar question is, would CA still install Clarke as captain of that team? Only consistency&discipline put Smith ahead of Hughes&Warner for capt.

  • Lmaotsetung on November 17, 2013, 9:46 GMT

    Easier to go from long format to the shorter one...harder the other way around. Ask the Indian superstars like Raina and Yuvraj

  • CodandChips on November 17, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Good luck Baile (just don't do too well) and even better luck to Carberry.

  • PrasPunter on November 17, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    @ZCFOutkast, when I watched North scoring that brilliant ton on debut against SA, I thought that we have unearthed a technically-brilliant batsman who would hold forte for the next 5-6 years. Wondering where and why things went south for North. One of the finest batmen with a very tight technique, wish he is given another chance.

  • on November 17, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    I hope Bailey succeeds and the aussies take the ashes 2-1.. Its a bit too much too ask soe arly but I do wish Bailey all the best for his debut. Its actaully a good thing he is making his debut late in his career cause it will be his only shot at the test arena. And in an uncanny way I wanna see Boyd Rankin do well too..

  • on November 17, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Bailey succeeded in ODIs and T20s, not because of his natural talent, but because of his approach and the complete understanding of his game. I am very sure that he will find a way out to succeed in the longer format as well.

  • Sir_Ivor on November 17, 2013, 10:13 GMT

    Best of luck to you George. I am sure you will get a 100. It is not because you are a nice chap but because you are good. It is just that you were not noticed all these years.