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Allan Border: Michael Clarke to replace George Bailey, Shane Watson on notice

Allan Border expects stand-in skipper George Bailey to be dropped in favour of regular captain Michael Clarke during Australia's next match.

Michael Clarke
Michael Clarke is set to return to the Australian team

Brisbane, Feb 16 (IANS) Former cricket World Cup-winning captain Allan Border expects stand-in skipper George Bailey to be dropped in favour of regular captain Michael Clarke during Australia's next match.

Australia defeated England by 111 runs on Saturday with Bailey playing a crucial knock of 55 runs in the victory. The World Cup co-hosts play their next group match against Bangladesh February 21 in Brisbane.

Clarke, dogged by a hamstring problem, was ruled out of Australia's Cup-opening match against England, but he is expected to return to the team against Bangladesh. Border, who guided Australia to the World Cup crown in 1987, said Bailey's runs against England had made the selectors job all the more difficult. But Border still believed he was the guy who would make way for Clarke.

"George was the obvious candidate a few days ago. I thought his performance against England was very, very good. Australia were just teetering having lost three pretty quick wickets and George and Aaron Finch just steadied the ship," Border was quoted as saying by the Cricket Australia website.

"I thought he really started to get some flow into his innings. He's not been in his best form but it's amazing how it can turn around quickly. That innings could be just what he needed; he was scratchy early but started to really blossom towards the end."

The 59-year-old added all-rounder Shane Watson's dismal form with the bat has been an issue, and he will be "on notice" to probably be the next man to make way for an in-form talent.

"Watson will be watched closely though, he's been struggling for his best form but he can just spring into action at any time. I'm backing him to come good (but) he will be on notice," he said.

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