Waiting for the call: George Bailey. Photo: Getty Images
Stand-in captain George Bailey says he has been assured that an outstanding one-day campaign in India this month would place him in contention for a spot in Australia's Test batting line-up to take on England.
There are several questions still to be answered about the make-up of the Australian order for the first Test in Brisbane, starting on November 21, allowing for the fact that Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Steve Smith and Michael Clarke, subject to fitness, are considered locked in for the Gabba.
Amid the chopping and changing of the Ashes campaign in England there remains at least one vacancy in the middle order and Bailey, who has emerged as a vital steady hand in the 50-over format, is keen to press his claims.
The Tasmanian will not start the Sheffield Shield season because of international commitments but says selectors have told him and others that form from the seven-match ODI tour of India will count heavily in the Test reckoning. Phillip Hughes, Callum Ferguson and Adam Voges are in the same boat.
''They made it really clear that doing well on this Indian tour - scoring runs over there - would be looked upon in the same regard as the guys who are staying back and playing the first couple of rounds of Shield,'' said Bailey, who will lead an Australian team that can return to No.1 in the world one-day rankings if they beat India by a margin of 5-2 or greater.
''It has to be an audition. That's something we spoke about. If you're scoring runs at international level with that sort of pressure, then it's obviously going to be looked upon pretty favourably.
''You have to take the selectors' word that international runs in one-day cricket will count towards hopefully a Test selection.''
Bailey twice reached 80 in the one-day series win in England last month and with an average of 46.13 in 29 matches since his debut in the Caribbean last year has proved a key member of a side gearing up for the 2015 World Cup. Working against him is his recent first-class record - he scored 256 runs at 18.28 in eight Shield games last season. The ODI squad leaves for India on Saturday.