Fawad Alam‘s quirky batting technique has garnered as much attention as his incredible Test comeback, but the unorthodox style probably falls short in the eccentricity meter when compared to the batting stance once employed by former Australia batsman George Bailey.
Ever since his return to Test cricket after a near-11-year gap, Fawad’s technique has been widely spoken about. Operating with an astonishingly open stance, and facing the bowler almost directly before curling into a more orthodox position as the ball is delivered, Fawad has so far been successful with his quirky style, having notched up two centuries within the space of a month.
However, back in 2018, George Bailey, batting for the Prime Minister’s XI against South Africa, showcased an equally unorthodox batting style, standing with his feet pointing towards the slip cordon, and almost covering one-half of the stumps with the back of his body. Much like Fawad, Bailey too switched to a more traditional style as the bowler reached his bowling mark, turning around to face the delivery at the last moment. Faf du Plessis, the South Africa captain positioned in the slip cordon during the match, could be seen letting out a chuckle at the unusual method.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) January 27, 2021
Bailey decided to change his batting style in 2015, a year after he played his final Test for Australia. In 2016, he told Channel 9 about the reasoning behind his closed stance.
“The real simple answer is to keep me side on,” Bailey had said, when asked about the thought behind his style. “The keys for batting are getting your feet into position where you can hit the ball as hard as you can. And for me the key to that is my back foot staying really side on.
“My tendency in one-day cricket or if the ball is swinging is to turn my hip to face the bowler, then my hands would lead out or just get me into a lot of trouble. It’s just something I’ve been tinkering with to make sure my backfoot stays as side-on as possible.”
Watch Bailey’s quirky batting style here: