George Bailey is the complete package, and must be included in Australia's middle order for the opening Ashes Test next month, according to champion opener Matthew Hayden.
Bailey added to his already impressive one-day tour of India with another starring knock on Wednesday.
Unlike his previous efforts, where he has been able to unleash on good wickets after his top three laid the foundations, on this occasion Bailey rescued Australia with a classy rebuilding knock of 98.
Bailey's series tally now stands at 318 runs at an average of 106.
He was dropped twice in Ranchi, but on a lively deck Hayden said the innings highlighted exactly why he needs to fill the No.6 spot at the Gabba on November 21.
"I just think his batting at the moment ... everything is coming so easily," Hayden told AAP on Wednesday.
"He's accumulating runs really well. He's striking the ball so well when he has to.
"For me he's the in-form player right now. He's the favourite (for the Gabba).
"Technically he's just looking really sound.
"Some of these other wickets we've seen have been really flat.
"You've still got to get runs, and he did, but this one had a bit of life to it and he just did it easily.
"That's a good sign that he's in really good nick.
"All you can do is get runs. And if you get runs at international level it's worth a whole lot more than any other level."
Hayden has also been impressed by the manner in which Bailey has taken control of the side in the absence of regular captain Michael Clarke (back).
The powerful batsman, who scored 8625 runs in 103 Tests for Australia, said that was a significant feather in Bailey's cap when it came to the selection table and made him the ideal candidate.
"It's more than just the runs he's scoring," Hayden continued.
"He's developed into a complete package from a leadership point of view.
"This side seems really settled under him and he's rotating his bowlers well.
"He would be valuable just as another experienced head to bounce ideas off. He can add weight to the culture.
"He's just got a good presence about him."
The Australian middle order has been crying out for a reliable presence since the retirement of Michael Hussey in January.
Collapses have become far too common, and cruelled Australia's Ashes campaign in England - a problem Hayden hopes Bailey could solve.
"The way that he's constructed his innings here as well doesn't just isolate him to being a one-day cricketer," Hayden said."An in-form Bailey could well be firming as a very good option at number six, in the Mike Hussey mould."