The 30-year-old Tasmanian scored a brilliant unbeaten 125 from 110 deliveries with 10 boundaries and four sixes as he took Australia from being in trouble against the West Indies at 6-98, to making a more than competitive 7-266.
Australia then bowled the West Indies out for 212 to win the second game of the five-match series by 54 runs but it was due to Bailey's innings in the first place that the home side even had anything to bowl to.
It was Bailey's first century for Australia in what was his 20th one-day international after also playing 15 Twenty20 matches for his country.
While he acknowledges he doesn’t feel secure in the Australian side yet and perhaps never will, coming in at No. 6 he does see it as a position he could now really make his own. He acknowledges he has plenty of work to do to follow in the footsteps of Bevan and Hussey though.
"I don’t think I'll ever be a good enough cricketer to not have my place under pressure in the Australian cricket team. I'm never going to be a Mike Hussey or Ricky Ponting, so I just have to make the most of as many good days as I can," Bailey said.
"Part of playing in the Australian cricket team is that you are under pressure every time you play. A really important part of that is temperament and learning to bat with the lower order, and building partnerships through the middle overs in one-day games.
"I would like to make it my position for many years, but I'm under no illusions about the person we are supposed to be replacing. He was very, very good at it and even before Mike Hussey there was Michael Bevan. Australia has had two of the best in world cricket, but I will certainly have a crack at doing it."
When Bailey came to the WACA wicket on Sunday, Australia was in desperate trouble at 6-98 and in danger of falling well short of even 200.
He didn’t feel good for a lot of the innings and had to keep fighting the urge to go for the big shot, but he fought through the difficult periods, got himself nice and set and in the end really teed off on the West Indies bowlers to score at a lot better than a run a ball.
"I wasn’t very happy with it early and I reckon it took until the 48th over for me to get my feet going, so that was a bit of a battle," he said.
"Part of it is always battling that voice on your shoulder telling you to play a big shot whereas the circumstances today dictated that we needed a partnership and for a set batter to be in as late as possible.
"In terms of that, anything else goes out the window and you don’t worry about your strike rate, how many boundaries you are hitting or how pretty you look. You are judged on the result and in that regard it was easy to focus on just batting well with James and Mitch (Johnson)."
Bailey wasn’t sure how he would react to scoring his first century for Australia, but it proved to be an emotional moment and he was glad to share it with Tasmanian teammate James Faulkner who also made 39 in his first international innings for Australia in the pair's partnership of 100.
"I was a bit more emotional than I thought I would be. It was a great feeling and I got a nice reaction from the crowd. At that stage, particularly when James had come out, we were thinking to just get to 200 and make sure we bat the overs and then that progressed to getting to 220, 230 and then go from there," Bailey said.
"I enjoy batting with him so we focused on that. We had 28 overs to bat together so that was a good opportunity to spend some quality time with the Jim in the middle, and that's about when he's at his most sensible as well.
"That was good and I get a lot of enjoyment out of playing with someone like James Faulkner having seen coming through with Tasmania. I think I batted with him in his first game for Tassie as well and now in his first bat for Australia so that's pretty special to me."