GEORGE Bailey kept his feet on the ground and his focus on the job in hand as another record-breaking international performance had a host of credentialled observers demanding his call-up for next month's first Ashes Test.
The former South Launceston batsman's 98 for Australia against India established him as the highest-scoring captain after 10 one-day internationals, took his series average to 106 and had the likes of former Aussie opener Matthew Hayden and former England captain Michael Vaughan united in their calls for his Test selection.
``For me he's the in-form player right now. He's the favourite,'' Hayden said.
``If you get runs at international level, it's worth a whole lot more than any other level.
``An in-form Bailey could well be firming as a very good option at number six, in the Mike Hussey mould.''
Vaughan was similarly impressed by the 31-year-old's sixth significant score in his last seven ODIs (82, 87, 4, 85, 92 not out, 43 and 98).
``George Bailey proving again why he has to be batting at 6 for the Aussies in the Ashes,'' Vaughan tweeted, adding: ``And must be vice-captain.''
Damien Fleming called Bailey's knock ``mature'' and ``sensational''. Hayden described it as ``awesome'', while even the AFL fraternity were in awe.
Matthew Lloyd tweeted: ``Watching George Bailey perform like this, he could be our new Mr Cricket''.
Clinton Young said the Tigers captain was ``seeing them like beach balls'' while Ian Callinan said: ``It's time for George Bailey to be batting at number 6 for Australia in the test team. [He] is in career best form #greattassieboy.''
However, the man himself wasn't getting carried away, preferring to highlight Glenn Maxwell's innings of 92, which helped the Aussies to a total of 295 before the Ranchi rain ruined the fourth match in the series.
``I was dropped twice. I found it quite difficult. I think Maxy's innings was superb,'' Bailey said.
``He took the pressure off me. I found it a little bit tough out there, so when you've got someone scoring like he was it put the pressure right back on India.''
Pressed about his Ashes prospects, Bailey said: ``There's probably eight guys who have a chance of playing in that Ashes team. It's so far away it's just ridiculous to look at. Guys will be at home playing Shield cricket, we've got Australia A games, it's a completely different format, different surface - I don't think there's anyone playing in these games thinking about that.''
Bailey has registered 1379 runs in his 33 internationals, with an average of 53.04, which is the fourth-highest of all time behind former Tigers teammate Michael Bevan (53.58), South African Hashim Amla (54.85) and Dutchman Ryan ten Doeschate (67.00).
Maxwell joined the chorus of praise after sharing a 153-run fifth-wicket partnership that was Australia's best against India.
``He's won tournaments for [Tasmania] and he's brought that straight into Australia,'' Maxwell said. ``He's a very confident captain. He's always very upbeat out in the field. He's good to talk to with the bowlers. He's very calm. And especially when he's making runs, he's been such a consistent performer over the last 18 months.
``It's great to have him doing well at the top and being one of our best performers, not just our skipper. He's been brilliant for the group and has really settled into Pup's [Michael Clarke] shoes quickly . . . it's been great to have Bails as skipper for this series.''