Test great Mike Hussey believes Australia’s current fast bowling trio have the skill and quality to adapt to English conditions when the next Ashes series is contested in 18 months' time.
The current attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins captured 66 wickets between them during the Magellan Ashes, and assuming all are fit and in form in July next year, Hussey endorsed them to be given first opportunity with the change in ball and conditions.
But he also believes serious consideration must be given to which other pace bowlers are included in the touring party, conceding that seam and swing options will need to be on hand – and an open mind kept for their inclusion – as Australia seek their first away Ashes win since 2001.
"It’s an interesting conversation and it needs to be had,” Hussey told the Unplayable Podcast of the all-out pace versus swing and seam conundrum.
"I remember Brett Lee, for example, in English conditions sometimes he could be a bit expensive because of his extra pace.
"The very skillful bowlers who are just line and length and can swing and seam the ball around can have a lot of success over there and (that’s where) the likes of Chadd Sayers and Jackson Bird can come into line for selection.
"But I still think the quality of Starc and Hazlewood and Cummins is there and they’re skillful enough to get the ball in the right areas and if you’re doing that at good pace, it’s still going to be very hard for England to play.
"I certainly think I’d be looking at those guys first, but I’d be adaptable if it’s not going right early in the series and be willing to make the change – if the conditions suit."
In 2015, Australia went for express pace over seam and swing, with an attack of Mitchell Johnson, Starc and Hazlewood playing the first four matches of the five-match series – which the hosts won 3-2 – before Victorian Peter Siddle replaced Hazlewood for the final match at The Oval.
That attempt to retain the Ashes away from home was lost with a game still to play, but Hussey believes the disappointment of the 2015 campaign will stand those who toured – current Test squad members Steve Smith, David Warner, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins – in better stead to succeed in 2019.
"That’s what you want as a player, you want to be tested in all different conditions around the world," he said.
"The first time you might battle a bit but you take lessons and learnings and become a better player the next time you go.
"Those guys will be better from the previous series and the heartache there last time. They’ll perform better next time."
Whatever direction Australia does take with their 2019 Ashes squad, Hussey is clear on one thing: the planning must start now.
"I’m sure Australia will want to enjoy this Ashes win and they will, but you can’t afford to rest on your laurels for too long,” he said.
"I think the planning needs to almost start straight away. Let’s get through the South Africa Test series first, but then I think it’s important Australia start thinking about that 2019 Ashes.
"We haven’t won in England since 2001, I know it’s on Steve Smith’s bucket list so it’ll be at the forefront of his mind.
"It’s important to get the thinking right, the planning right as well.
"It seems like it’s still awhile away, but Australia need to be ready to give themselves the best chance of doing well over there."
2017-18 International Fixtures
Gillette ODI Series v England
Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets
Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
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
2017-18 International Results
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard
Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard
Third Test Australia won by an innings and 41 runs. Scorecard
Fourth Test Match drawn. Scorecard
Fifth Test Australia win by an innings and 123 runs. Scorecard