Arthur impressed by Bailey's start

22 March 2012 11:10:36 EST

Several experts have tipped George Bailey to hold down a regular spot in Australia's middle order, even though he has only played three ODI matches so far.

With regular captain and star middle-order batsman Michael Clarke nursing a hamstring injury, a vacancy had opened up in Australia's batting line-up and Bailey has grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

In the first match against the West Indies, he top scored for his side and then formed a 112-run partnership with Michael Hussey in the second. He followed that up with a 59-run innings in the third match that ended in a tie.

He's done everything we've wanted.

Micky Arthur

The next two matches of the ongoing ODI series will be played in St Lucia. Australia are 10/11 to win the series, with the West Indies 11/2 and the draw 11/8.

Australia coach Arthur doesn't believe that the 29-year-old Tasmanian captain can be considered as a replacement for Clarke yet, but he did say that so far he has done everything that the team has asked him to do.

He said: "He's done everything we've wanted. He's come in, he's provided stability, he's a calm, level-headed bloke, giving a lot of direction to players. He's just been a real positive influence around the place.

"With Clarkey not here we're still trying to find the perfect order and we'll continue to do that. Michael Clarke's such a big cog for us, whether he bats at three or four. It's been hard trying to shuffle players around and sometimes that's not great because it doesn't give the stability players need."

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