ANOTHER stunning innings by Australia's stand-in captain George Bailey has renewed calls for an Ashes call-up.
For the second match running, the former South Launceston batsman top-scored against India, and although his 92 not out off 50 balls wasn't enough to see his team to victory it did underline his status as his nation's leading limited overs run-scorer.
Coming with a stunning strike rate of 184, Bailey's innings at Jaipur's Sawai Mansingh Stadium featured eight fours, five sixes and took his ODI average over the magical 50 benchmark to 51.58.
The joint fastest (with Greg Chappell) Australian to reach 1000 ODI runs (in 26 games), he sits behind only former Tigers teammate Michael Bevan (53.58) by Australian average and is fourth highest of all-time.
Social media exploded with praise and calls for the 31-year-old to be called up for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on November 21.
Damien Fleming called Bailey's knock ``sensational'' and remarked how he was ``channeling his inner Ponting'', Rodney Hogg said Bailey was ``another step closer to that No. 6 batting spot'' for the first Test and regular captain Michael Clarke called it ``brilliant'' adding: ``Another great innings. Leading from the front. Deserved a 100.''
Tigers teammate Evan Gulbis tweeted ``George Bailey take a bow!'', fellow Tasmanian and Kookaburras star Eddie Ockenden added ``what an innings by George Bailey, in some serious form'', while rugby league great Phil Gould called Bailey ``absolutely outstanding''.
Even the old enemy was impressed, former England quick Dominic Cork issuing a glowing tribute.
``Bailey has taken on the responsibility of the one-day captaincy and he's batting at No. 4, which is a very important position to play, keeping the stability of the innings together,'' Cork told Sky Sports.
``He came over and played for Hampshire and did well in four-day cricket, even if it was division two, but he still did well and he seems to have a good temperament.
``If you asked me as a former captain who I would go for at the moment, and I'm eating my words massively here because initially I couldn't understand why he was given the captaincy, it would be George Bailey.''
Bailey's ODI career, which only began 18 months ago in the West Indies, features 11 half-centuries and six scores above 80, the figure he is averaging in his past 11 matches. His average across the past five leaps to 87.50.
AAP's Joe Barton, who is following the Indian tour, said Bailey is quickly elevating himself towards the echelon of Australia's greatest one-day finishers, the two Mikes - Hussey and Bevan.
``While his claims on a Test berth appear to be strengthening every time he walks to the crease, it is Bailey's place in ODI cricket that is truly skyrocketing,'' Barton wrote.
However, Bailey played down the comparisons.
``I think the fact we've had two outstanding guys back to back means there's always going to be comparisons, but it's not like that,'' he said after India's record-breaking win.
``I'm not really taking over the role.
``If it's not me doing it that's Vogesy (Adam Voges) or Maxy (Glenn Maxwell). That's how all middle-order players play.''