George Bailey was an unknown commodity when he took over the reins of Australia’s T20 team. A couple of years on, Bailey is a regular fixture in the T20 and ODI squads and earned a spot in the Ashes side as well. Now with IPL 7 set to kick off in less than a week, Bailey is set to enter unchartered territories as captain of Kings XI Punjab. He spoke to satyamevjayates.com from Dubai. Excerpts:
Has Mitchell Johnson recovered from his injury?
All members of the Kings XI squad are fit. Mitch is fully fit now and was disappointed to miss out on the World T20. As Kings XI skipper, I feel it’s good Johnson got some much-needed rest after the Ashes and a tough SA series. He is fresh now and raring to go from the first match.
Glen Maxwell has proven to be one of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket in the last two years or so. Will he be the X-factor in Kings XI this year?
He has proven to be a match-winner for Australia and was in sensational form during the World T20. He’ll be a big player for us in IPL because he also brings useful offspin bowling to the table. I also expect him to be a leader in the field for the team because he is a phenomenal fielder.
Kings XI look light on the spin bowling front…
We have some good spinners. They might not be big names but they are young and promising. Most of the IPL teams have not seen them and they can be the surprise element.
You had a modest outing in the World T20…
I don’t think there is any such thing as form in T20. You are only as good as your last innings. If you take a closer look, my last two scoring shots were six and a four, so I am not bothered that I don’t have a lot of runs behind my back.
Kings XI is a new team for you. How important is the information passed on by assistant coach Sanjay Bangar in assessing the young players?
Why only Bangar, Indian bowling coach and our chief coach Joe Dawes has also been a big help. Viru [Virender Sehwag] has also been helping me out and I will count upon his support and knowledge.
Have you decided on the final XI?
I just arrived in Dubai last night and we are preparing to have our first practice session on Saturday evening. I think we’ll discuss about the team after a few training sessions and couple of practice matches that we’ll have on Monday and Wednesday.