George Bailey - The smiling Assassin
Did the team win? He is smiling. Did the team lose? He is smiling too. He claps for his bowler always. He claps if the opposition batsmen hits a good shot. He was never seen angry. Maybe only a little disapponted sometimes. No wonder he is called “smiley.” He never forgets to acknowledge the other teams effort, whether the result is a win or loss. It is a bit of a rarity in crcket now-a-days that too with people like Virat Kohli, Mitchell Johnson and Kieron Pollard in action. Even though he has played very little cricket, fifty and odd One Day International games, half of Australia still prefers George John Bailey to lead the Australian National crcket team.
He is a natural leader. He is one of the rare selections in which he was called to the national team because of his captaining abilities. This is especially rare for Australian cricket since team building in Australia first involves getting a strong team and then choosing someone amongst those to represent the team. No wonder, all of them end up in the list of ‘all-time great captains.’
Debuted as skipper
But Bailey with his exceptional leadership skills combined with good batting skills was selected as the T20 captain for Australia straight away as soon as he entered the national team. Well, who will not be impressed by some one who is ever smiling, yet winning matches? He was only the second player after Dave Gregory to be named captain on debut for Australia in any format of the game. He is sportive, yet fearless. That earned him the right nick name of ‘Geronimo’ after the great apache leader of Mexico.
He won a deal with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League. Well, absolutely the wrong team. Apparently, the CSK management has not heard of either his leadership skills or would not have known who Geronimo was. Two swords cannot sustain in the same scabbard. He hence never had a role to play with the Chennai Super Kings. Precisely at this time around, the Kings XI Punjab was flatering.
Bailey and Kings XI were a match made for each other
Faring poorly for many seasons with a below-average team, they very badly needed a strong team with a motivational skipper. No guesses as to who might be behind the selection of such a wonderful team and captain. Adam Gilchrist gifted these goodies to Preity as he left. The 2014 season was marvellous for the KXIP. Great players internationally and excellent talent, locally combined with an encouraging captain all supported by one of the best player the Gentleman game has ever seen. Punjab was unstoppable throughout the tournament, well except in the finals. But it was this team that won hearts.
Come the second half of 2014. George Bailey resigned as the T20 captain of Australia in order to solely focus on the ODI world cup. Irony is that he played only one match in the entire tournament. With the batting line up of Australia very stron and with the regular captain, Micheal Clarke returning, Bailey had no option but to sacrifice his place in the team.
" I think it's a pretty basic equation there. So what will be will be. I don't think I will hold my place, but that's fine. I think it's great that he's on track. Certainly from the initial time of his injury, I think he's done a remarkable job to get back in time. I think he's done a great job."
This was his response when asked about how he felt to lose place in the squad in a tournament for which he resigned as the T20 captain. Surely, he is like the mighty Hector who sacrificed a lot for his country and his brothers!! Take a bow smiley :)