The hype surrounding off-spinner Harbhajan Singh’s return to form notwithstanding, Australia captain George Bailey is least bothered as he said his team would not be focussing on any particular individual when it takes on India here tomorrow.
“We don’t want to focus too heavily on one bowler. It’s not that we focus too much on Harbhajan and don’t focus on Ashwin. All the Indian bowlers are pretty good and we respect that fact,” said Bailey at the pre-match media conference ahead of India-Australia Super Eight match of World Twenty20.
The Tasmanian batsman though conceded that spin was becoming a more and more important factor in the context of the tournament.
“Certainly spin has become more important factor as it will get slower and lower as the tournament progresses. But we have a pretty good line-up of fast bowlers and would like to exploit whatever is available,” said Bailey.
The 30-year-old skipper believes that the team that has the ‘x-factor’ will emerge victorious as it requires a bit of flair to excel in a marquee game like India versus Australia.
“You need to show a bit of flair and at the same time be a bit conservative. Ultimately, the team that has more number of players with x-factor will end up on the winning side.”
Bailey, who has spent a lot of time in the Chennai Super Kings’ dug-out during his stint with the IPL franchise, said that he has learnt a lot from his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“The structure of Indian Premier League is such that you can’t play more than four overseas players. One thing that I have learnt from my days with CSK is the consistency in team selections. In CSK we didn’t happen to change the team when we lost one or two matches. This game can be very fickle and you don’t decide on basis of one or two performances. I have tried to follow that while selecting Australian team. I have learnt a lot there,” Bailey said.
Shane Watson has been one of their key players and now has two man-of-the-match awards from consecutive matches but Bailey refused to accept the fact that the team is overtly dependent on Watson in the game’s shortest format.
“Shane is a dependable player but we are not dependent on him. It might look like that since he has been very consistent. With the ball, he has got us breakthroughs and while batting there isn’t a team that doesn’t fear bowling to him. But there will be days when he would not get runs and others will have to step up. We can suitably answer this question only when that situation arises,” Bailey commented.
“With Watson, Warner and Hussey scoring runs, the other Australian batsmen haven’t got a chance to bat but Bailey assured that the boys are ready to handle pressure situations. We have been training very hard and we are ready to handle pressure in match situations.”
Asked whether he is feeling the pressure of expectation being an Australian captain, Bailey said, “Expectations are different for every team and one wants to pass that. As far as I am concerned, I have got senior players around me. In our team, every individual knows his responsibility.”
Bailey admitted that Super Eight is really tough as this is the start of the “tournament proper”.