George Bailey may not be everybody’s idea of a captain most deserving; the Australian selectors have their own norms for choosing a captain. Bailey first succeeded Cameron White as Australia’s Twenty20 captain in 2012 and then he was named vice-captain of the Australian team for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 played in England.
Once Michael Clarke pulled out of the India tour, the Tasmanian was elevated as captain. He will lead in India for the first time as captain in Twenty20 match as well as the seven one-day internationals, which has come under criticism from Ian Chappell.
Bailey dismissed the former Australian captain and commentator’s remark that the tour is all ill-timed before the Ashes series.
“I don’t think his comments have any bearing on the team. I don’t think he has been involved with the Australian team for a very long time. His comments don’t have particular relevance to this series,” said Bailey at the first media conference at the C.K. Nayudu Hall, Cricket Club of India here on Monday.
Advantage of playing IPL: I guess we do and we do not. One of the great things about IPL over the years is that we have played at a lot of grounds against the best players and particularly against a lot of Indian players. It’s vice-versa too. We know a lot of strengths and weaknesses and a lot about personalities. So there is some advantage for both the teams, but there are some areas to try and exploit.
Is it the first step towards preparation for the Ashes or 2015 World Cup: We have some guys here who have been in the Ashes side and some guys who will be pushing for the Ashes side. To be honest eight games here is a long way to go. We have got a round of first class matches to play; so a lot to go through before we start our focus on the Ashes. This ODI series is in line with the preparation for the 2015 World Cup.
Any predictions: We are very polite. I still think certain individuals make those predictions. That was the way they challenged themselves; that was the way they got themselves fired up for a series. This group doesn’t need to do all that; we have enough challenges and certainly don’t probably have the superstars like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. We don’t rely heavily on one or two players. If we are going to play good one day cricket, if we are to win this series, we will need all of us to play really well.
Matches advanced by one hour to avoid dew: I don’t think it would make a huge difference. It (dew) certainly comes into play in a couple of grounds here. We have to work out which ground will be affected. Generally the wickets here are good one day wickets that provides for even contest between bat and ball.
Carrying the momentum of one-day series win against England: It was great to win the ODI series against England. We were really disappointed with the way we played in the Champions Trophy. India played so well there. Rain robbed us of a chance of having a crack at the tournament. We played some really good one day cricket to finish off the summer in Australia against the West Indies. We were feeling pretty confident. It was nice to win the ODI series in England after the disappointing Ashes. It was nice to see the guys who were involved in that series to bounce back and perform strongly. That was a great sign and here is another opportunity to continue to do in challenging conditions here.