George Bailey: Mark Butcher likes Australian's batting and captaincy
Mark Butcher says George Bailey was stellar with bat and as captain as Australia beat India in Pune.
Last Updated: 18/10/13 12:21pm
Bailey, deputising as skipper for back-injury victim Michael Clarke, scored 85 off 82 deliveries to propel the Baggy Greens to a total of 304-8 from their 50 overs, with explosive opener Aaron Finch - praised before play by Butcher - chipping in with 72.
But the former England batsmen reckons Bailey - named by Australia legend Shane Warne as a potential candidate for an Ashes call-up this winter - also prospered when the tourists took to the field and skittled India out for 232.
"Bailey is very phlegmatic and nothing seems to faze him, and in his current position in Australian cricket, whereby he picks up the slack whenever Clarke isn't around, he is going to need that character trait," Butcher told Sky Sports.
"He remedied his third-ball exit from the T20 game with India in this match, playing beautifully, taking charge of the dangerous spin bowlers in the middle period, and controlling the innings.
"Plus, he was superb captaincy-wise whilst marshalling his resources.
"He made all the right decisions and brought exactly the right bowlers on to the right batsmen.
"But he had a lot in his armoury with Mitchell Johnson bowling very quickly from ball one and roughing up the batsmen with neck-high deliveries."
"However, Australia also saved probably another 25 runs with their fielding.
"There were some beautifully stuck shots from Virat Kohli and co that scorched off the bat.
"But before you knew it there was an Australian on it and another one if it had been spilt from his mate's grasp.
"India just couldn't get any quick singles."
Butcher was rather less enthused by India's bowling at the backend of Australia's innings which allowed Bailey, Johnson, James Faulkner and Clint McKay to collect boundaries.
But the Croydon-born star - who played in 71 Tests matches for his country but made no 50-over appearances - lavished praise on Kohli following the 24-year-old's well-constructed 61.
Kohli has amassed 4636 runs from his 114 ODIs with a highest score of 183 and at an average of just under 50, and Butcher believes the Delhi native must be considered as one of the premier stroke-makers in the game.
"India's death bowling is utterly horrendous as you can bosh their 75 mile-per-hour length balls out of the ground," added the ex-Surrey man.
"They really miss the experience and quality of Zaheer Khan who is able to bowl yorkers at will, because these guys bowled appallingly.
"But Kohli is class and probably the best young batsmen in world cricket.
"He is so silky and has great timing and magnificent footwork, but he also hits the ball extremely hard and can find the boundary at will."
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