I thought I got hit by a truck: George Bailey

The Rising Pune Supergiants middle-order batsman speaks about the freak incident and cricketing conversations with MS Dhoni

Vizag 18 May 2016
To ‘just smile’ in George Bailey’s way is not easy. Staying cool, calm and collected under pressure is a learnable skill. And to just smile - it takes intention. It takes heart. It takes constant learning to handle pressure and not losing the joy of playing the game.

Bailey was hit on the helmet by a Nathan Coulter-Nile and had saw his helmet flying. The helmet took a pounding and there were signs of worry and concern on the field. But, the incident did not take away the infectious smile from his face. ‘I felt as if my face was hit by a truck,’ he smiled while narrating the incident.

After a rain-curtailed match where Bailey partnered Ajinkya Rahane to race ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis system, we at caught up with the former Australian ODI skipper on topics ranging from the review of Rising Pune Supergiants’ performance this season, his batting form and cricketing conversations with Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Excerpts from the interview:

Congratulations on the win, George. Cricket is a great leveller – the other day you were at the receiving end of DLS and today on the winning side?

I think the coach (Stephen Fleming) has spoken quite distinctly on the subject. It is not necessary that you are on the right side or the wrong side of it, but I just think that the system at the moment needs reviewing. But, it is always disappointing when a game is hampered by rain.

Narrate to us the Nathan Coulter-Nile delivery that struck you. What exactly happened?

I think those watching on TV would get a better picture of it than I do, because what I sort of remember is me getting hit on the face with a truck that was pretty quick. But, I was pretty glad to have one of those new helmets on.

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We saw you saving the stumps from the rolling helmet and then there was some conversation with Delhi Daredevils players.

A couple of them were disappointed that the helmet hadn’t rolled on to the stumps(laughs). But, most people were just checking on me and how I was.

You have been getting starts this season but what do you think are the reasons for not converting them?

I think (it is) since I am just coming out of an off season and coming to the tournament a bit late and having not played any cricket at home in this period. I am taking a little bit of time and getting back into the swing of things and towards the end of each innings I have started to feel a lot better, but haven’t been able to convert into a big score or just hit the ball as cleanly as I like. It is a bit frustrating, but I guess the important thing is to get a little bit of partnership going.

George, if you look at Rising Pune Supergiants from outside – one sees very rich experience and quality with MS Dhoni, Fleming at the helm – why do you think the team didn’t click this season?

I think there is quality in every side, regardless of whether you finish on top of the table or finish at the bottom. Not having been here from the start, I am not in the best position to talk about it, but a lot of injuries and a lot of games that have come down to the last over and gone the other way. The best sides tend to win that. It is a little frustrating as there are only little things that could’ve changed the course of our journey and we would have been fighting for the playoffs position as well.

Tell us an interesting conversation you have had with MS Dhoni this season?

I had a really good chat with him after the last game. We just talked about roles in the middle-order and the role he likes to play - build his innings and start to strike the ball as well as he does in the end. That was a great insight for me as I always batted in the middle-order, mostly at the same position, but he is obviously more powerful than I am, so those insights were great for me.
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