England have delayed their planned squad announcement for the Test series against New Zealand with Joe Root still too ill to take part, but James Vince and Mark Stoneman both appear to have earned a reprieve.
Root was hospitalised by a virus on the final morning of the Magellan Ashes series, briefly returning to the ground to bat before retiring at lunch following recurring symptoms, and he was still feeling the effects on Tuesday.
That meant he was unable to discuss squad matters with head coach Trevor Bayliss and the other selectors, forcing a 24-hour delay to the announcement, now scheduled for Thursday.
With Root bed-bound in Sydney, Bayliss was still able to offer his own take on the side that will take on the Black Caps in a two-match series next month and there was a heavy nod that Vince and Stoneman would hold their positions in the top three.
The pair started promisingly Down Under but failed to make adequate contributions in the 4-0 defeat, averaging in the mid-twenties and mustering four half-centuries between them in 18 innings.
"It gets down to when is the time to move on and personally I think people like Stoneman and Vince probably get another couple of games to show us what they've got," said Bayliss.
"I think at times during this series against what is probably close to the best bowling attack in the world in their home conditions, they have shown they can play a bit.
"I don't know whether it was the pressure and the longevity of the five Test matches pretty close to each other or whether there was a fatigue and they dropped off in the last couple of games. But I think they have done enough without anyone really pushing them from behind and they probably deserve another opportunity."
Vince's retention, in particular, is liable to be met with disbelief by those who questioned his selection at the start of the winter and have been unmoved by the repetitive nature of his dismissals in Australia.
Bayliss warned there could be the short-term price of adverse results while England seek to build a Test team capable of winning the Ashes in Australia.
Bayliss responded to a 4-0 defeat in Australia by setting the timeline for his own departure, insisting he will neither seek nor sign a new deal when his contract expires in September 2019.
But he has also vowed to keep his mind firmly on the future.
The 55-year-old Sydneysider understands competing against Australia in Australia is "the holy grail" for English cricket and, although he will not be around when they tour again in 2021, forging a side for that tour is one of his priorities.
New arrivals to the Test team could be selected as much on potential as any immediate impact they might have, weakening the present for future ambition, a bold strategy with series against Pakistan and India this summer and the 2019 home Ashes contest that will represent Bayliss' final hurrah.
"I want to leave the job having helped England into a position of strength going forward not just look after results for me," the coach said.
"It has never been about me. It is about the team you are working for and making them as good as possible in the future.
"If in four years' time the away Ashes series is our holy grail then you are better off making some changes well in advance and giving some of those guys time to bed themselves into the team rather than waiting a couple of years and giving them 12 months' experience.
"It is a juggling act. Some of these little-bit-older guys that have been the best performers over a period of time in county cricket, if they can't come up to scratch at this level, well then the next option is to pick some of those exciting young players.
"Even though their performances at county level may not be quite up to some of the older guys, put them in and get them the experience early.
"If that means we happen to lose one or two series because of that experience, that's what we've got to put up with. We've got to be hard and tough enough to take that on the chin if it does occur."
Bayliss is also championing the idea of trialling Kookaburra balls in the county championship, just as Cricket Australia trialled England's preferred Dukes brand in the Sheffield Shield.
More overseas trips for England's development sides also meets with his approval.
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