Bangalore: Michael Clarke, the Australia captain, said he would love to see George Bailey get an opportunity in the upcoming Ashes. Clarke said the fight for the vacant No.6 spot to face England would come down to performances, with Bailey among the top contenders after excelling in the ongoing limited-overs series in India.
Bailey, 31, is currently leading Australia, who are 2-1 up with two games to play after consecutive washouts.
Since his debut in 2012, Bailey averages 53.04 and has a strike-rate of 89.49 from 33 One-Day Internationals. In his last seven ODI outings for Australia, he has accumulated 491 runs with an impressive sequence of 82, 87, 4, 85, 92 not out, 43 and 98. (Scorecard)
"I think Bailes has done an exceptional job in the last couple of years in the shorter formats and he's leading the boys really well," said Clarke. "I'd love to see him get his opportunity in the Test team."
Despite his outstanding form at ODI level, Bailey averages a modest 38.29 at first-class level and Clarke said the selectors would take the final call. (Live Blog)
"It's obviously going to come down to performance and who the selectors think the right man is for that position but I've always enjoyed playing alongside Bailes," said Clarke. "He's a great fella and if they select him I'll be extremely happy."
After being ruled out of the Indian tour with a recurrence of his long-term back problem, Clarke is hopeful of playing for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield season opener against Tasmania on Wednesday. It was initially feared that Clarke would miss the first Test against England, starting on November 21 in Brisbane, but he said that he was looking forward to play all the Tests this summer.
"While there is ongoing speculation about my future, my back is no worse now than it has been for years," Clarke wrote in his column for the The Daily Telegraph in Sydney.
"I feel a lot better and believe I will be able to play every Test this summer in the same way I played all five Tests on the Ashes tour earlier this year."