Former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith has been the nationa side's batting mainstay since 2014. The right-hander has been consistently churning out runs and has been producing match-winning performances. Smith, who had started his career as a leg-spinner, had a turnaround as he has gone on to become one of the best batsmen in the world.
Now, George Bailey has come out and revealed the moment which changed Steve Smith's career. Both George Bailey and Steve Smith were a part of Australia's squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 on home soil. George Bailey, who played a solitary game for Australia at the mega event, revealed that he was the one to suggest promoting Steve Smith up the order as he felt that the latter had the potential to build an innings.
Steve Smith ended the tournament as Australia’s leading run-scorer with 402 runs in 8 games at a staggering average of 67 with one century and four half-centuries. Even in the final against New Zealand at the MCG, Steve Smith turned up with 56 runs off 71 balls, guiding his side to a seven-wicket victory.
Before the mega event, Steve Smith used to bat in the lower middle-order and changing slots helped him and the Aussies. George Bailey also felt that Mitchell Marsh could have been slotted down the order owing to his power-hitting potential.
George Bailey, while speaking on The Unplayable Podcast, said that his 'Claim to Fame' was promoting Steve Smith to No. 3 and added that he would have ended up there sooner or later. George Bailey further said that as captain, he had been utilizing Steve Smith at six or seven in the one-day team and in Zimbabwe (in a triseries in August-September 2014), they used Mitchell Marsh up to three in a game.
George Bailey went on to say that he suggested it should be Steve Smith (at three) because at that time Mitchell Marsh had the ability to finish the innings with his power-hitting and added that he couldn’t see him batting for the full innings whereas he could see Steve Smith batting for 50 overs, making those key hundreds that help a batsman in anchoring the team's innings. George Bailey concluded saying that his recommendation was taken up and that played a huge part in Steve Smith's career as Smith has been there right throughout the World Cup and hasn’t moved since.