Shane Watson's decision to step down as Michael Clarke's deputy has clearly affected the Australian cricket management. The decision to name George Bailey as the vice-captain for the Champions Trophy in the United Kingdom next month clearly reflects that.
Bailey is Australia's T20 captain and his appointment as Clarke's deputy for Champions Trophy means Cricket Australia has taken a horses-for-courses policy. Usually, a vice-captain in a 50-over competition is looked upon as a candidate for future Test captaincy. Bailey doesn't figure in Australia's Test squad.
Test wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was overlooked and Australian cricket chiefs opted for Bailey, who has had limited success as a T20 specialist. Many see Wade as Clarke's successor.
With Watson's reluctance to be part of the team management in both Test and ODI cricket, chief selector John Inverarity on Wednesday conceded there was a leadership vacuum behind the Test and one-day captain.
Inverarity said there was a great opportunity for rising players to put themselves in position to be a future long-term Test captain down the track, and admitted Wade, 25, had seriously been considered as a potential leader.
But in the end, 30-year-old Bailey's efforts as Twenty20 skipper and stand-in one-day captain last summer had earned him the one-day vice-captaincy in the 15-man squad, said a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"The (panel) has been impressed with George's leadership when he stepped in to guide the ODI team in Michael's absence last summer, and leadership of the T20 team over the past two seasons," he said. "Given George's experience and credentials, he was viewed as the ideal person for the role."
Meanwhile, Bailey has been in good form for Hampshire. The 30-year-old scored a 93 on his English County debut last month. Bailey, had led Tasmania to Sheffield Shield glory in March.