Abu Dhabi: Excellent communication and planning were the keys behind Australia’s four-wicket win over Pakistan in the first one-day match of the three-match series at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium earlier this week.
That’s the view of Australia batsman, George Bailey, who stood like a colossus to scuttle Pakistan’s hopes of a victory through an unbeaten 57.
He revealed that planning the race to the target helped his side win the match.
Answering a question from Gulf News about what plan he and skipper Michael Clarke formulated during the course of their partnership and what they discussed to handle the pressure, Bailey said: “We talked about just building a partnership. Time was never going to be an issue, so it was just a matter of taking our time. It was a slow partnership but that set the game. That was probably what we needed to take the heat off the game.”
Bailey was also involved in a stubborn partnership with Glen Maxwell, who went for his strokes to hit a run-a-ball 38 runs with two fours and a six. When asked about what he told Maxwell, Bailey, who played a patient knock, said: “Maxy [Maxwell] is a pretty free-flowing character. I am not sure if he listens to anything I or anyone else says. It was just a matter of keeping a clear head. He is obviously a beautiful striker of the ball, so if you want him to have that freedom then we want him to be unafraid to hit the ball. So if he played a shot that wasn’t so good or missed a shot, I just tried to tell him to keep a clear head and watch the next ball. He was pretty good, I thought, and played his luck.”
Bailey refrained from going for wild shots and kept his head down during the course of his knock, which came off 88 balls with just one boundary and a six. “I would have liked to hit more fours, but it is a hard ground to hit fours. I also felt that going for boundaries was risky and we probably lost too many wickets too to take any risks. So the partnership was important, as we said that if we could bat the 50 overs, we could get the runs. It was just a matter of sticking there.”
Bailey feels that his team will get better in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, though. “All the Pakistan spinners are very good. We take a lot out of the fact having faced them. So hopefully we will get better at playing the next game and come up with some more specific plans for a lot of guys, probably for those who haven’t faced any of the spinners. So it is nice to get a bit of the feel and their tricks. As Pakistan skipper Misbah ul-Haq said, their strength is their spinners, and we probably have some deficiencies against spin. So that is a real working point for us and we really worked hard on the nets and are continuing to do so,” revealed Bailey.