Uncapped opener D'Arcy Short is in line to make his international debut on Saturday after Aaron Finch was ruled out of the Gillette T20 Tri-Series opener against New Zealand due to a hamstring injury.
Finch missed the final two matches of the recent ODI series against England due to a hamstring problem and it's lingered long enough for the right-hander to miss the series opener at the SCG.
Skipper David Warner did not reveal Australia’s XI when he faced the media on Friday but confirmed his long-time opening partner will miss the match.
"He didn’t feel like he was up," Warner said.
"He went through some run throughs yesterday with the medical staff, he said he sort of felt it a little bit. We didn’t want to risk him going into this tri-series with this first game. He's going to be on ice definitely."
It means Short, the leading run-scorer in this season's BBL, is in line to open although the skipper said Chris Lynn is also a chance to bat at the top of the order.
While Finch's absence is undoubtedly a blow, it does slightly ease what would have been a tricky decision for selectors.
Warner, Finch and Short are all regular openers, while Lynn filled that role for Brisbane Heat in the BBL and Glenn Maxwell posted a century opening the batting in Sri Lanka 18 months ago.
"It's going to be interesting to see what the batting order looks like," former Australia batsman Mike Hussey told The Unplayable Podcast when the squad was announced.
"You've got Warner and Finch, and you've got to think D'Arcy Short would have to slide in there somewhere as well.
"I don't know what they're going to do. D'Arcy Short has just been incredible at the top of the order throughout the Big Bash.
"I know it's not a big change going from an opener to No.3, but it is different – you're sitting there waiting, and you might not come in until the fifth or sixth over. And he's just been so effective throughout that batting power play.
"I know those other names are amazing players, but it's almost like he needs that opportunity, D'Arcy Short, so perhaps Warner or Finch might go down to No.3."
The injury to Finch comes after batsman Travis Head was released from the squad to play in Friday night's KFC BBL semi-final in Adelaide.
The left-hander will fly back to Sydney on Saturday and re-join the squad.
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
Australia squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
England squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Anaru Kitchen, Colin Munro, Seth Rance, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Ben Wheeler.
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets
Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets
Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21