Glenn Maxwell may have done enough to convince national selectors he's their man for the Magellan Ashes, posting another half-century in Victoria's JLT Sheffield Shield draw with South Australia.
Chasing 348 to win, the Bushrangers survived a perilous final session at the MCG to finish on 8-273.
After scoring 60 in the first innings, Maxwell delivered another assured knock, cracking two sixes and five fours before being trapped lbw on 64 by a Joe Mennie yorker.
The 29-year-old was the best performed of the leading candidates to bat at No.6 for the first Test beginning in Brisbane on November 23.
South Australia's Jake Lehmann is a potential bolter after scoring 103 and 93 but the 25-year-old may be seen as too inexperienced to throw into the Ashes cauldron.
Test teammate and Victoria skipper Peter Handscomb said Maxwell had shown he deserved to keep his spot.
"He's looking really good, he's balanced and he's sticking to his gameplan," Handscomb said.
"He's been working that hard and he wants to keep that spot, and I see no reason why he can't but he's got to keep making runs.
"He's done a good job now and he has to do it again next week."
Maxwell and Handscomb (58) combined for a 104-run partnership as the Bushrangers went to tea at 3-157.
Handscomb fell soon after to a brilliant Chadd Sayers catch at mid-on off the bowling of Adam Zampa.
Aaron Finch (54) and Daniel Christian (38) looked to push the run rate but were each undone by their own aggression.
The Redbacks pressed for victory but Peter Siddle (14 not out) and Scott Boland (six not out) survived the new ball and ensured Victoria would not fall to consecutive losses.
"I thought we played extremely well today," Redbacks skipper Travis Head said.
"It was a tough wicket. There wasn't much in it for the bowlers but I thought we exhausted all our options and unfortunately it wasn't quite enough."
Paceman Mennie (4-39) was the pick of South Australia's bowlers while Sayers claimed a tidy 1-39.
Callum Ferguson earlier scored a brilliant 182 not out as the Redbacks declared on 8-370.
Ashes wicketkeeping hopeful Alex Carey was bowled by Chris Tremain for 20 after scoring 36 in the first dig.
His lack of runs and the continued middling form of incumbent Matthew Wade means NSW's Peter Nevill is favourite to wear the gloves in Brisbane.
Victoria: Peter Handscomb (c), Fawad Ahmed, Scott Boland, Dan Christian, Travis Dean, Aaron Finch, Sam Harper, Marcus Harris, Glenn Maxwell, Peter Siddle, Chris Tremain. Cameron White (12th man).
SA: Travis Head (c), John Dalton, Jake Weatherald, Callum Ferguson, Jake Lehmann, Tom Cooper, Alex Carey, Joe Mennie, Adam Zampa, Chadd Sayers, Daniel Worrall. Kane Richardson (12th).