Bailey out to cut out bad  habits

 Test discard George Bailey is looking to eradicate some bad habits from his batting and has received an endorsement from Australian captain Michael Clarke. 

Bailey was crowned the Australian one-day player of the year on a bitter-sweet Monday when he was omitted from the Australian Test team. 

He averaged just 26 over his first five Tests in Australia's Ashes series sweep over England. 

The 31-year-old Tasmanian said he had hoped, rather than expected, to make the Test squad for South Africa, especially given his shortage of first-innings runs. 

``I can't really fault it (the selectors' decision),'' Bailey said. 

``I think I said at the start of the series that at 31, you probably only get one crack at it, but I'm hoping now to prove myself wrong. 

``I learnt a hell of a lot about my game. It's really exciting to get to my age and still discover that you've still got so much more to learn, so it's invigorated me in a lot of ways.'' 

Questions were raised about Bailey's ability to handle fast bowling, something which he acknowledged. 

``I had a really good chat with `Boof' (Australian coach Darren Lehmann) during the one-day game (last Sunday),'' Bailey said. 

``I think I've got some things to work on against good quality fast bowling which I think, at times in my period, I've dealt with pretty well. 

``I think I've probably got into some bad habits playing a lot of short-form cricket. 

``I've got to go away and work out how to get rid of those and then work out how to adapt really quickly, which you've seen `Pup' (Clarke) do. I think you've seen Steve Smith do really well and that's where I've got to get to.'' 

Clarke emphasised the part Bailey had played in the team despite not scoring heavily in the Ashes series. 

``I can't tell you the benefit of having him around the group; his leadership on and off the field; his attitude,'' Clarke said. 

``To be able to give so much back to the team when you are not performing personally, I think that's the most underrated thing in sport. 

``I think he's been a great example and that's probably why I think the whole team feels for him that he's not coming to South Africa with us.'' 

While hopeful of resurrecting his Test career, Australian Twenty20 captain Bailey has the T20 World Cup looming in Bangladesh in March and April. 

George Bailey

George Bailey