New national selector George Bailey is confident his 'No BS' policy will resonate with the team when it comes time to fulfilling the hardest part of his duty – dropping players.
Bailey joins coach Justin Langer and chairman Trevor Hohns on the National Selection Panel (NSP) next month when he calls time on a playing career that has seen him captain his country, win an Ashes series 5-0, claim a 50-over World Cup on home soil and lead Tasmania to two Sheffield Shield titles.
It is at state level with Tasmania where Bailey, as both skipper and selector, has previously been put in the difficult position of informing his teammates – and close friends – they were dropped.
From that experience, and his own as a player, Bailey understands what all players want to hear at that difficult point, and that's nothing but the truth.
"I've had to do that (drop players) to some of my closest mates and knowing that when you do it that would be the last time they would probably get an opportunity," Bailey said on this week's episode of The Unplayable Podcast.
"Then the next day you're taking the kids around to their house for a barbeque.
"There's no easy way to do it but I have learned and been told over the years, and even my own experience about being dropped, people don't want bullshit excuses about it.
"Hit them with the absolute truth even if they don't like it or believe it because it's much easier to process and deal with.
"As soon as you start trying to give flimsy reasons and clichés then players will hunt through to the weakest point and become fixated on it."
Furthermore, Bailey says the dropping of a player should not end with the tough conversation.
As a selector, the 37-year-old is determined to stay in touch with omitted players to make sure they are in the right headspace when they return to domestic cricket and have as much information as they need to get back into the national side.
"It's one thing about dropping them but again it's then about making sure they are (informed)," he explains.
"At the time you can give myriad reasons, but all the player hears and that really matters is you were in the team and now you're not in the team, so it's then about following up.
"They go back to state cricket and that's hard sometimes … these guys are then expected to be probably in the handful of best players in their team, most often they are in a leadership role, whether it's official or unofficial, but in their mind quite often they're nowhere.
"You've got to make sure they've got lots of support and that's a really key time … the communication needs to be good, reiterating the two or three things they need to improve to get back in the team, making sure they're getting the mental and physical support around them so they can perform."
Starting the job fresh out of the playing system, Bailey sees his role on the NSP as a "servant to the players" with a goal of strengthening communication lines between the athletes and selectors.
Bailey also wants to tap into the state coaches around the country for their assessment and feedback on the domestic playing stocks.
But giving all players – whether they be incumbents, those pushing for selection or recently dropped – as much clarity and information will be one of his priorities as a national selector.
"I think we can make the process better, not necessarily in terms of even picking different people, but just the process of involving the state coaches," Bailey said.
"Sometimes I feel like it's a little bit out of line what coaches and high performance (think). Just trying to streamline that process and get everyone on the same page and that's from a player's point of view, I've felt sometimes a bit like that, out of the loop.
"I feel like I can have a really positive impact and feel like I've got a good sense of what players' expectations are. Rightly or wrongly, I feel like my role as a selector is I'm a servant to the players.
"These guys are busting their backsides to try and play for Australia. Some of them are going to get the opportunity and some aren't, but my role is to make sure that I'm giving them as much information about the things they can be doing to give themselves the best chance (of selection) and then once they're there you're trying to make sure they're there for as long as they possibly can be.
"And then when they have their period of not going so well and they fall out of that team, just making sure they're in a really good mindset and headspace to get back to playing good cricket to get themselves back up."