Bailey blames himself despite a fine start

Ollie Freckingham celebrates the dismissal of Hampshire debutant George Bailey. Picture: Neil Marshall
Ollie Freckingham celebrates the dismissal of Hampshire debutant George Bailey. Picture: Neil Marshall
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George Bailey admitted he had a few stern words with himself after failing to make the most of his Hampshire debut knock.

The Australian batsman cracked a fine 93 as he led his new county out of a tricky spot at nought for two on day one of their Championship clash with Leicestershire.

But his dismissal – stumped by wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien as he wandered down the pitch at the end of an over – left him cursing as he assessed an innings that helped steer Hampshire to an impressive 286 for four at stumps.

‘There’s no blame for anyone else,’ explained Bailey.

‘It was just a lapse in concentration for me.

‘It was very disappointing because I had done the hard work and I should have still been batting at the end of the day.

‘It’s nice to get some runs and get a good partnership on the board but any batsman is pretty greedy and you want to be out there for as long as you can.

‘When you are in that situation at nought for two, that’s what you have got to go out and deal with.

‘In some ways, it almost makes it easier because the ball is doing something.

‘I thought it was the end of the over so I wasn’t in a rush to get back but Niall is always thinking on his feet like that.

‘I certainly haven’t been dismissed like that before.

‘I am absolutely annoyed at myself. I had worked pretty hard to get into that position so I was very, very disappointed to fall short of 100 and what would hopefully have been a few more.

‘I guess it’s better than getting zero, though.’

Bailey is Australia’s t20 captain but has his sights firmly on Test cricket – especially as the Ashes series comes to this country later in the summer.

Recent retirements have left the Aussies looking for replacements and he is well aware that a prolific county campaign could propel him into the reckoning.

He said: ‘I would like to play Test cricket but that’s not necessarily a goal for this summer, it’s a general goal.

‘That’s what I’m trying to achieve.

‘There are a lot of batsmen around the same mark, so it’s up to a couple of us to make it easy for selectors by jumping out of the pack.

‘I think there is an opportunity there, absolutely.

‘With Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey retiring, there are one or two spots up for grabs.

‘But it’s about getting an opportunity and then making the most of that opportunity if it comes.

‘That’s the frustration of getting 90. Everyone gets 90 but if you can turn that into 150-160, that’s a good day.’

But if Bailey builds on a promising start – and adjusts to the climate and conditions – he surely has a chance.

He said: ‘It got colder as the day went on – I was disappointed I was still out there in short sleeves!

‘My hands were starting to go numb.

‘But after my dismissal, Vincey and Sean batted beautifully so it was a good day for Hampshire.

‘It was tough out there. It swung most of the day and there should be a bit in the pitch all game for the bowlers.’