Rattled by Mohammad Shami Ahmad's three-wicket burst with the new ball in the abandoned fourth ODI, Australian skipper George Bailey has instructed his batsmen to watch out for the rookie Indian pacer in the remaining games of the ongoing seven-match series.
Taken aback by Shami's pace and swing, Bailey said: "Obviously Shami bowled very well. He's someone we haven't seen in the series and he was a little bit quicker than what we expected. He certainly got movement off the seam," Bailey told reporters after the fourth one-dayer at the JSCA Stadium yesterday.
"That's something to be pretty aware of for the rest of the series. That's obviously what's going to be coming at us," he said.
Shami rocked the Australian top-order but half-centuries from Bailey (98) and Glenn Maxwell (92) in a record 153-run fifth wicket stand enabled them to post a challenging 295/8.
(Shami Ahmad celebrates with team after dismissing Phil Hughes in Ranchi. PTI)
However, rain played spoilsport when India were 27 for no loss after 4.1 overs and the match was abandoned with Australia continuing to lead the series 2-1.
Amassing 318 runs, Bailey yesterday became the first Australia skipper to go past 300 in any bilateral ODI series.
Yet a modest Bailey said it was ridiculous for him to think of making to the Ashes squad in the Australian summer.
"I think there's probably eight guys who have got a chance of playing in that Ashes team. It's so far away. It's just ridiculous to look at it," Bailey said.
"There are guys who will be at home playing Shield cricket, we've got Australia A games when we get back. It's a completely different format. I don't think there's anyone out playing in these games thinking about that series."
Asked whether he had any special preparation for the series in India, Bailey said: "I didn't do anything different.
I think coming over here you focus a little bit more on how you're going to play spin, because India have good spinners.
"It's important to be at the top of your game there. I'd done a lot of that leading into England as well, so that wasn't too much different."