Melbourne: Amid speculation that Steven Smith could get Australia's ODI captaincy, former skipper Ricky Ponting has backed George Bailey to do the job in the World Cup if Michael Clarke fails to recover from his injury.
Bailey is the right man to lead Australia into the World Cup in February if Clarke is unfit, Ponting said.
There has been strong speculation that Smith could get the ODI team job after his impressive performance when he took over the Test team captaincy from the injured Clarke and led Australia to victory over India at the Gabba last week, the Australian AAP news agency reported.
But ODI vice-captain Bailey already has good experience leading that team when Clarke was absent in the past and Ponting said he could see no better option than his fellow Tasmanian.
"I can't see any reason whatsoever that there would be anyone other than George Bailey if Michael is not fit," Ponting was quoted as saying in Hobart.
"He's been an unbelievable player for Australia for the last few years, he's led the team really well and he's got some experience going into a World Cup which is what you need.
"He's a perfect fit for me, I don't think there should be any argument whatsoever." Ponting said while speaking in Hobart where he received life membership of Cricket Tasmania.
Ponting's remarks come after Australian pacer Ryan Harris said stand-in Test skipper Smith should be handed captaincy in all three formats if Clarke fails to recover in time for next year's ODI cricket World Cup.
Harris, who is nursing a quadriceps strain and is racing against time to be fit for the third Test against India, said he has been left impressed by Smith's leadership.
"There's no doubt I can see him as captain in all forms. We will see what happens, there is obviously a big (2015) World Cup coming up," Harris told 'Fox Sports'.