Bailey should add stability

NEW signing Ryan Bailey believes he will offer the Chevrolet Warriors the batting stability they have been searching for in recent seasons.

The Warriors have struggled for batting consistency in the middle order for some time now and Bailey was identified by the Eastern Cape franchise's management as a player who could possibly cement that section of the batting lineup.

And Bailey, 31, says he is up for the challenge. "I'm very comfortable playing that role. Ever since I started playing first-class cricket I have batted in the middle order.

"My experience combined with the inexperience of the younger guys in the team will hopefully build some kind of relationship. I can help them develop and take the Warriors to the next level from last season."

Bailey first entered the spotlight during the 2002 under-19 World Cup in New Zealand, where he was one of South Africa's better batsmen.

He made his first-class debut for North West during the next season and has since played 97 matches in that format, averaging 32.03 with a highest score of 220. He also featured in 103 List A games and 60 20/20 matches.

Until now he has made regular appearances for the Knights, consistently turning in solid, if not spectacular, performances not only with the bat but also with the ball.

"I'll do a role with the ball. I enjoy it. It gets me going. It gets my energies, my aggression going. So, yeah, especially with one-day cricket coming up and four-day cricket later on," he said.

He says he feels at ease in both limited overs and four-day cricket. "I play all three formats. I'll take it one format at a time starting with the One-day Cup. That's all I'm focusing on."

After failing to score in the one innings he had in the two-day friendly against Knights last week, he bounced back with an unbeaten 65 in the 50-over encounter. "It's all about keeping it simple; to keep doing the things that I know I can do. Yes, I got a nought. The good thing is my experience told me not to get too upset about it. I was very calm. I knew my preparation coming into this season was good. I managed to get some runs against my ex-teammates which is always good."

He says he has settled in well within the Warriors structure.

"The good thing about the setup here is that I feel comfortable. If you don't feel comfortable you are not going to succeed. I feel comfortable with the players I have around me. I know that they believe in me and that helps me believe in myself.

"I've settled in very well. Davy [Jacobs] got me here. I've played with and against Davy since SA U19 times.

"So he's helped me settle in."