George Bailey is a rare breed in cricket, having been named captain of the Australian T20 side despite never having played an international match in any format of the game.
He has now pushed his tally to 16 T20 matches, as well as 24 caps for the Australian ODI side.
Bailey has been a consistent run scoring machine for the Tasmanian Tigers, which eventually earned him the captaincy in 2009/10. With 5,936 runs, his first-class form can’t be questioned.
His 160 back in the 2010/11 season against Victoria guided his side to a remarkable victory that eventually saw them win the Bupa Sheffield Shield for just the second time.
Bailey cemented a spot in the international side in 2012, when he was announced as captain for the T20 series against India.
With the likes of Shane Warne playing alongside him, Bailey was able to hone his already impressive leadership qualities during the KFC T20 Big Bash League in 2011/12.
A successful World T20 campaign would have capped off a perfect year for Bailey, but despite his whirlwind 63, Australia fell short in the semi-final to a brutal West Indies.
Earlier this year, Bailey got the dreaded monkey off his back with a maiden ODI century against the West Indies in Perth. In a typical fighting knock, his 125* rescued Australia from the brink to set up a comfortable 54 run win.
A pair of 55’s in the recent ICC Champions Trophy weren’t enough as Australia bowed out in the group stage.
Although he mightn’t look it, the 30 year old is more than capable of dismantling a bowling attack. His strike rate hovers in the low 80’s for the Tigers, while he goes at around 133 for both the Hurricanes and Australia in T20 cricket.
After guiding his side to the Bupa Sheffield Shield title in 2012/13, Bailey will be hoping for a return to form in limited-overs cricket. The Tigers struggled in the Ryobi Cup, while the Hurricanes once again failed to make an impact in the KFC T20 Big Bash League.
The Mr Nice Guy of Australian cricket has developed into a reliable all-round batsman for Australia. Whether he is building an innings or finishing it off, his teammates know they can always count on George.