JLT Sheffield Shield 2018-19

Bailey's new-look stance pays dividends

Veteran batsman mixes things up as his fortunes change for the Tigers

Sam Ferris

8 December 2018, 06:09 PM AEST

New look for Bailey working wonders

The evolution of George Bailey's batting stance has undergone another mutation as the veteran batsman carved out an important knock for Tasmania in their JLT Sheffield Shield clash against Queensland.

Gone is Bailey's unusual stance that saw him facing gully, showing his backside to mid-on and peering over his left shoulder before pivoting around to a textbook stance once the bowler entered his delivery stride.

Now Bailey stands in a classic manner with his feet aligned down the wicket but has thrown in a bizarre backward step as he prepares to face the incoming bowler.

Bailey, in a wide stance, steps his right foot back along the popping crease toward square leg before immediately returning it to his original position.

The move could be to keep Bailey aligned with the bowler or make sure his feet are moving. Whatever the reason, it's worked for the veteran.

Bailey finished day two unbeaten on 96 as Tasmania built a 300-run lead over the Bulls, a remarkable turn of events following the 18 wickets that fell on Friday's opening day.

Bailey chimes in with half-century

After a lean start to the Shield summer, Bailey stood down from the captaincy to focus more time on his batting and output for the Tigers.

The change in role appears to be coupled with his new stance, and against the Bulls it helped him hit 11 fours and a six in Hobart.

However, Bailey may have foreshadowed the development at the start of the summer.

"I don't want to give too many trade secrets away," Bailey told cricket.com.au in August. "One thing I have tried to do over the last 10 years is never do the same thing two years in a row.

"We'll have to wait and see."

Bailey is well aware how his unique batting stance may be perceived, which left South Africa captain Faf du Plessis in stitches during the annual Prime Ministers XI match in October.

The 36-year-old explained the genesis of the change in 2016.

"There has been a bit of a funky change which came about over a number of years," Bailey said.

"It started off with me just wanting to get into a really strong position where I could hit as many sixes as I could.

"It snuck into my one-day cricket and it got to the point where I trusted it so much, I thought I’d have a crack at it in red ball cricket where the ball swings and seams a bit more."