Former Test quick Ryan Harris doesn’t expect wholesale changes to Australia's XI for the first Domain Test against India, but would like to see a positional shift for allrounder Mitchell Marsh.
Harris closely observed the Australians in last month's two-Test series against Pakistan that started with a courageous draw in Dubai, before a massive defeat in Abu Dhabi had coach Justin Langer declaring batting spots for the home summer were wide open.
On that tour, Australia blooded Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne while promoting new vice-captain Mitchell Marsh to No.4, a position where he scored 17 runs in three innings.
The three debutants each had their moments on tour but the form of the experienced Marsh was cause for concern.
The powerful right-hander was left out of Australia’s ODI side to focus on his red-ball form and he started with 151 for Western Australia against Queensland batting at second-drop last week.
But Harris would like to see Marsh shuffle back down the order, perhaps to No.6 where he scored two Ashes centuries last summer.
Harris says the potential return of Bulls opener Matthew Renshaw, who scored 89 in the match against WA, could allow Marsh to slide down.
"I don't think there will be too many changes," Harris told SEN.
"The only thing I'd change, personally, I don't think Mitchell Marsh is a No.4.
"With Matt Renshaw, he should come back in at the top, and pushes Marsh down to five or six."
While Harris, now a coach with Cricket Australia's National Performance Squad, does not foresee mass changes to the Test team, he says spots are up for grabs and now is the time for Test aspirants to put their hands up.
"I've heard it said a number of times, if you're at Shield level now and you're making hundred after hundred after hundred there's a big carrot there if you want to take it," he said.
"If someone is doing that, there's been a couple of guys already who have made a good start to the season, if they're doing that consistently then who knows, their opportunity might come."
Two young Blues batters made headlines this week by scoring their maiden JLT Sheffield Shield centuries as teenagers.
Jack Edwards (101) and Jason Sangha (117) posted three figures for the first time at Shield level and had experts like Kerry O'Keeffe labelling Sangha as the best young technician since Ricky Ponting.
But Harris has warned against rushing the youngsters into international cricket. Instead, he's pleaded patience as they develop their game at first-class level before tasting higher honours.
"They are hopefully going to be superstars," he continued. "But let's let them earn it first and get them to average around 40 in first-class cricket."
India Tour of Australia 2018-19
Gillette T20s v India
November 21: The Gabba
November 23: MCG
November 25: SCG
Domain Tests v India
December 6-10: Adelaide Oval
December 14-18: Perth Stadium
December 26-30: MCG
January 3-7: SCG
Gillette ODI Series v India
January 12: SCG (D/N)
January 15: Adelaide Oval (D/N)
January 18: MCG (D/N)