Australia’s vice-captain has had an unbelievable past year. Since the start of February 2013, Bailey has:
- scored 1052 ODI runs at an average of 70 with a strike rate over 100
- scored two ODI hundreds and eight ODI fifties
- scored 162 T20I runs at a strike rate of 178
- made his test debut in an Ashes series
- won an Ashes series 5-0
- reached the Big Bash final with Hobart Hurricanes where he score 58 in the final
- made his way to number 3 in the ICC ODI Rankings
- won 11/21 ODI matches
- won 4/7 T20I matches
- won 5/5 Test matches
The statistics are impressive, but the way he has played his cricket over the past 12 months has been incredible. Never mind how much pressure he is under to score quick runs, he always seems to be in control of the situation and the calmest man on the pitch.
His performance in the India vs Australia ODI series was sublime. He scored 478 runs in six innings at an average of 95.6 in a series where he looked undismissable (yes, I’m coining that word).
Australia have an explosive batting line up at the minute. Warner, Finch, Watson, Clarke, Bailey, Maxwell, Wade, Faulkner as the top eight is a frightening sight for any bowling attack. For me, Bailey is the glue that holds that batting line up together, his consistency allows those around him to play more aggressively safe in the knowing that Bailey will be there to recover the situation.
Today was a mixed day for Bailey. He was bought by Kings XI Punjab for 3.25 crore (£300,000), and I am backing Bailey to heavily influence all the games he plays in IPL7 between April and May. However, Shaun Marsh (Bailey’s test replacement) scored a century to repay the faith the Australian selectors have shown in him.