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George Bailey sweats, India smiles!

Earlier this week, Australian skipper George Bailey brushed aside former captain Ian Chappell’s comments about the timing of the seven-match ODI series against India that precedes the Ashes. But given the frantic pace at which things are unfolding in the first week of the Australian team’s arrival, Bailey may soon feel the impact of Chappell’s well articulated thoughts that also appeared in MiD DAY.

George Bailey
George Bailey

Barely 18 hours after the conclusion of the high-scoring one-off T20 tie in Rajkot, both teams landed in the city to prepare for the first one-dayer at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on the Mumbai-Pune highway. And within minutes of checking into the team hotel on the outskirts of the city, Bailey and his Indian counterpart, Mahendra Singh Dhoni were obliged to turn up for the trophy unveiling ceremony.

Yuvraj Singh
Touch down: India’s Yuvraj Singh arrive at Pune airport yesterday. Pic/Sachin Thakare.

Given the countenance of the two skippers at the inauguration ceremony that barely lasted a few minutes, it was amply clear that the Aussie was still smarting from the clobbering Yuvraj Singh (77 off 35 balls) meted out to the visitors on a day Sachin Tendulkar decided to announce his retirement. The fact that this could just be the beginning of similar hammerings that lie in store could well have already been weighing in on Bailey’s mind!

MS Dhoni reserves Sachin comments
The large media posse gathered at the hotel yesterday for the trophy unveiling hoped that skipper Dhoni would speak about Sachin Tendulkar and share his thoughts about what the legend means to him and the team.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Touch down: India’s skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni arrive at Pune airport yesterday. Pic/Sachin Thakare.

After all, that’s what Yuvraj Singh did the previous night in Rajkot after taking India to a hard-earned T20I win over the Aussies. But that was not to be as Dhoni insisted he would speak about Tendulkar after India’s practice session today.

Yuvi’s gain could be Rayudu’s pain
As any sportsman would vouch, luck plays as important a role as genuine talent when it comes to the tough grind of international sport. Take the case of Ambati Rayudu, the extremely talented middle-order batsman who spent a long time on the sidelines before earning his India cap. The selectors have retained him in the squad given his commendable performances in Zimbabwe earlier this year. Considering his prowess, Rayudu may still fire whenever he gets his opportunity.

But the big question is will he get as many outings, now that Yuvraj Singh has literally returned with a bang? Or will he go Ajinkya Rahane’s way: getting the occasional opportunity and then getting fired from the squad the moment he fails?

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