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By Sudatta Mukherjee
Following a superb One-Day International (ODI) series against India in which he scored 478 runs at an average of 95-plus, George Bailey‘s performance earned him a Test cap for Australia in the coveted Ashes series Down Under. However, he scored just 183 runs in the five Tests at an average of 26.14 to be dropped for tour of South Africa.
One can argue that the selection come as harsh compared to Alex Doolan, keeping in mind Bailey has been playing ODI and Twenty20 for Australia for some time. But Bailey was never a good Test prospect for Australia. In Adelaide, Bailey scored 53, but was dropped on 10.
Bailey has played 103 First-Class matches and averages 37.63, whereas, Doolan has played only 53 matches and averages almost same as him.
Then there is Adam Voges, who has been there for quite some time and is as much qualified to play Test as Bailey and also enjoys a better average. Voges recently scored a double hundred in Sheffield Shield match.
Bailey has been an important player for Tasmania. He has been the captain for the team for a long time now. However, he was made the captain at a time when there were no better options. Ricky Ponting was busy playing for the national side, as was Ed Cowan, though on and off.
Bailey has been a good limited-overs player and John Inverarity deserves much credit for the T20 captain’s success. After all, Inverarity handed him captaincy without Bailey having played any international matches.
Bailey got into double digit just once in the five Tests. His scores in the first innings of the just-concluded Ashes read: 3, 53, 7, 0 and 1. Bailey’s fielding helped the team a lot, but he wasn’t in the side for fielding alone.
The series against South Africa is a very big one and the Australian selectors did the right thing by dropping Bailey after giving him a long run.
(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog and produces weekly posts on new food joints at Whopping Weekends. She played Table Tennis for University of Calcutta. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching some English serial on her laptop. Her Twitter id is @blackrosegal)
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