Middlesex expect seamless transition when George Bailey replaces Brendon McCullum at Lord’s

George Bailey batting for Australia

George Bailey batting for Australia - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Middlesex coach Richard Scott is predicting a “seamless transition” when George Bailey replaces Brendon McCullum as the club’s overseas player next week.

McCullum is due to make his final appearance for Middlesex on Thursday night in their NatWest T20 Blast South Group tie against Somerset at Lord’s (6.15pm).

The overseas slot will then be filled by Bailey, the former Australia T20 captain who is currently playing for his country in a triangular series in the Caribbean.

There will also be a change to the four-day captaincy this weekend, when James Franklin resumes the stand-in role he filled for much of last season as Middlesex take on Lancashire in the County Championship.

Adam Voges captained the side in their first seven Championship games of the season, with Franklin leading the 50-over side and Dawid Malan in charge for the T20 Blast.

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“First and foremost the three captains are all great men and easy to work with and they’ve got their own ideas on how the game should be played in the different formats,” said Scott.

“They all have the team at heart and have energy towards putting their own stamp on the game. James captained the team for long periods of time last year and did a fantastic job.

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“So that’s easily solved, it’s a seamless transition and, when Brendon leaves us, George Bailey will be joining for a couple of months.

“We’re blessed this year with some really good quality overseas players and I see all the changes being seamless ones that will enhance the performance of the team.

“George will bring international experience and a lot of energy, he’s a great team man and he’ll strengthen our middle order. So we’re looking forward to working with him.”

The 33-year-old Tasmanian could make his Middlesex debut in their T20 Blast game at Sussex, where he enjoyed a brief spell last season, on Friday July 1.

Meanwhile, Scott has emphasised that seamer James Harris still has a part to play in Middlesex’s campaign despite his recent absence from the first team.

Harris has not played for the senior side since their County Championship game against Somerset four weeks ago, with winter signing James Fuller emerging to hold down a bowling slot.

“Harry took 67 wickets last year and bowled brilliantly – this year he’s just struggled to hit those dizzy heights again,” added Scott.

“When you play within a strong squad and you have a couple of games where the wickets don’t come, opportunities are there for blokes to come in and take your place.

“That’s what’s happened in this instance but we’ve got full confidence that he’ll come back stronger after this little break and add quality to our side in all forms of the game.

“Initially James Fuller was signed to bolster our one-day attack but he’s come in and impressed and had a really good Championship debut against Hampshire at Merchant Taylor’s School, where he got a five-for.

“He’s been in good form, he’s got good pace and he’s also a very fine athlete who fields very well and can score some useful runs, so he’s a useful addition to the squad.”

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