Rattled by Mohammad Shami’s three-wicket burst with the new ball in the abandoned fourth ODI, Australian skipper George Bailey has instructed his batsmen to watch out for the rookie Indian pacer in the remaining games of the ongoing seven-match series.
Taken aback by Shami’s pace and swing, Bailey said: “Obviously Shami bowled very well. He’s someone we haven’t seen in the series and he was a little bit quicker than what we expected. He certainly got movement off the seam,” Bailey told reporters after the fourth one-dayer at the JSCA Stadium.
“That’s something to be pretty aware of for the rest of the series. That’s obviously what’s going to be coming at us,” he said.
Shami rocked the Australian top-order but half-centuries from Bailey (98) and Glenn Maxwell (92) in a record 153-run fifth wicket stand enabled them to post a challenging 295 for eight.
However, rain played spoilsport when India were 27 for no loss after 4.1 overs and the match was abandoned with Australia continuing to lead the series 2-1.
Amassing 318 runs, Baileyon Wednesday became the first Australia skipper to go past 300 in any bilateral ODI series.
Yet a modest Bailey said it was ridiculous for him to think of making to the Ashes squad in the Australian summer.
“I think there’s probably eight guys who have got a chance of playing in that Ashes team. It’s so far away. It’s just ridiculous to look at it,” Bailey said.
“There are guys who will be at home playing Shield cricket, we’ve got Australia A games when we get back. It’s a completely different format. I don’t think there’s anyone out playing in these games thinking about that series.”
Asked whether he had any special preparation for the series in India, Bailey said: “I didn’t do anything different.
I think coming over here you focus a little bit more on how you’re going to play spin, because India have good spinners.
“It’s important to be at the top of your game there. I’d done a lot of that leading into England as well, so that wasn’t too much different.”
The lower-order added just 57 runs in the last 10 overs as Australia posted a less than 300-plus total for the first time in the series but Bailey begged to differ in his assessment.
“I actually thought we played really really smartly in the last 10 overs. We were two or three wickets further down than we wanted to be. So it was really important that James [Faulkner] and Mitch (Mitchell Johnson) actually got us into the latter part of that innings.
“If we’d lost one of them there then 295 would’ve been 250 or 260. It was really important that they actually took some time out of the game and continued to score. I thought they played it better than I expected.”
Standing in as skipper in the absence of an injured Michael Clarke, Bailey has impressed one and all with his smart captaincy and he attributed this to his Tasmanian skipper Dan Marsh.
“I learnt a lot from him. He’s now the Tasmanian coach.
Both temperament, the way he communicated, his knowledge of the game, I don’t think I’ll ever have that but I certainly learnt a lot and continue to learn a lot off him,” Bailey said.
The 31-year-old also said he had learnt a lot from Ricky Ponting and Clarke.
“I think you take little bits from absolutely everyone you play. Playing a year with Ricky last year was fantastic, just to see how he was around the group and how hard he trained, how he communicated with guys and how much he backed his own team was great.
“And I’ve loved playing under Pup too. From everyone you play under and everyone you play with, you learn so much.
There’s so much to learn if you’re willing,” he signed off.