Australia wanted to intimidate Indian batsmen in 1st ODI: George Bailey

George Bailey was especially pleased that his fast bowlers performed as a unit © Getty Images

Pune: Oct 14, 2013

Australia captain George Bailey said that Mitchell Johnson was assigned a specific role to “intimidate” Indian batsmen with raw pace and the left-arm speedster did a “fantastic” job.

“Mitch —  we wanted him to go out there and bowl fast, intimidate batsmen and take wickets. I think he did that. He’s going to be important for us to have him firing, the energy he brings in. He led us from the front which is good.”

Bailey was especially pleased that his fast bowlers performed as a unit.

“Clint [McKay] and Mitchell [Johnson] started fantastically well and made it really hard for the Indian boys to score. Mitch was fast. Jimmy [James Faulkner] got targetted a bit early but fought back very well. It was a fantastic all-round bowling performance, which we need to have in the series as the Indian batting is so strong,” Bailey said.

The Aussie skipper elaborated the individual strengths of McKay and Faulkner.

“Clint probably is not going to intimidate batsmen as much but he’s pretty accurate, swings the ball, so length is going to be pretty important to him. James is a little bit different does a bit of both. He finds ways to keep himself in the game and also takes wickets.”

He also praised the batting of opener Aaron Finch who completed his second successive half century having started off on a blazing note during the one-off T20 game at Rajkot.

“I don’t think anyone likes facing someone bowling really fast. I think they [Indians] swung the ball nicely up front.

Finch batted so well he first got two out of 20 balls which is unlike him, but he found a way to get through that [phase] and did not throw it away which is great for us.

“That was a nice little partnership for us and probably during what was the most dangerous part for us when the Indians can swing the ball,” Bailey explained.

“What is good about Finch is that he has been doing it consistently. When someone is having a partnership with him, the game flows along nicely, just because he’s always putting pressure back onto the bowlers.

Bailey feels that a contribution from most of the players is a good sign as they started the one day series on a good note.

“The most important thing is the contribution from so many people. We did not rely on someone getting six wickets or getting a big hundred. A lot of them will feel they had a good game tonight which is great.”

Asked about Brad Haddin’s freak eye injury that required him to leave the field for medical attention, the skipper didn’t forget to do a bit of leg-pulling off his senior glovesman.

“He [Haddin] came back and kept wickets because his eyes were alright or may be he was nervous as Hughes was keeping so well,” he joked.