The jigsaw puzzle that is Australia's revamped ODI batting order has become one piece clearer as Justin Langer's squad honed preparations for the upcoming tour of the United Kingdom in Brisbane on Saturday.
Fronting the media ahead of flying out on Monday for the five-match one-day international series against England, Langer said he expected rising star and new T20I vice-captain Alex Carey to be the batsman to miss out on a place in the top seven when the action begins at The Oval in London on June 13.
The assignment will be Australia's first since the tour of South Africa that was marred by the ball-tampering incident in Cape Town, and led to the suspensions of Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.
No current Australian player has scored more ODI runs this decade than Warner and Smith, and as such their absences leave a gaping hole in the batting order.
Head coach Langer has already spoken of the opportunities that present to younger batsmen around the country, but for now the experience and steadying leadership of Tim Paine looks set to be viewed as the most important consideration in selection.
"What I like about Paine is, he's been through some really tough times," Langer said.
"There was probably talk he might be a future Australian captain when he was 22 or 23. And then he had this really tough time.
"It's always good to see people get through the adversity and then come back hopefully better.
"The leadership is important. Whatever levels, whether it's the captain or the vice-captain or the guys who haven't got a title next to their name, leadership's very important."
Asked if he saw Paine and Carey slotting into the same ODI XI, Langer said: "Probably not. Alex and I haven't spoken about this yet, but we've got enough specialist batsmen there, and with Painey now as the captain, he'll wicket-keep.
"I'm sure Alex Carey will obviously get opportunities in the T20 at this point.
"If I was to pick my first seven (ODI) batters now, he (Carey) wouldn't be in it. But we've only got eight batters – so he's not far off."
Langer was unwilling to name an opening partner for vice-captain Aaron Finch, though of the leading candidates – D'Arcy Short, Travis Head and Marcus Stoinis – it would appear Short looms as the man most likely.
Last month, Langer recounted a conversation between he and Short to cricket.com.au, which occurred at the back-end of the JLT Sheffield Shield season, after the left-hander had starred for Hobart Hurricanes in the KFC Big Bash and excelled in his first T20 series for Australia.
"(Short) said to me, 'Mate, I just want you to know, I want to be an opening batsman'," Langer said.
"I said, 'Really?'.
"He said, 'Yep, that's what I want to do. I want to commit to that. I want to be an opening batsman in red-ball cricket as well'.
"For me, that's a great sign. He's starting to grow, starting to blossom."
Speaking in Brisbane today, Langer cited several options before explaining he didn't see the second opener's position as the chief issue with Australia's recent ODI batting woes.
"Travis Head has done very well up the top, Marcus Stoinis has done well – so there's plenty of options there," he said.
"The truth is, in one-day and Twenty20 cricket, the best place to bat is opening, and there's plenty of blokes who can do that.
"What we need to find is guys who can bat four, five, six, seven, who can have an impact as well. "There's plenty of options and we'll work through that in the next little bit."
Qantas tours of England and Zimbabwe
ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye
T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth
Qantas Tour of England
June 7: Warm-up v Sussex, Hove (D/N)
June 9: Warm-up v Middlesex, Lord's
June 13: First ODI, The Oval (D/N)
June 16: Second ODI, Cardiff
June 19: Third ODI, Trent Bridge (D/N)
June 21: Fourth ODI, Durham (D/N)
June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford
June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)
Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Monday, July 2: Pakistan vs Australia
Tuesday, July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Wednesday, July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Thursday, July 5: Pakistan vs Australia
Friday, July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 8: Final