Uncertainty over Michael Clarke’s bold bid to play the first Test is set to continue this week.
Australia selectors met in Sydney over the weekend, thrashing out a squad for the opening chapter of the four-Test series against India at the Gabba.
Rod Marsh will read out the names in Adelaide on Monday morning, with Clarke expected to be among them.
Whether he’s still there when the first Test starts on December 4 is far less clear.
The 33-year-old is recovering from a third hamstring setback since August, with physiotherapist Alex Kountouris noting the chronic nature of the injury and Clarke’s age are risk factors.
Cricket Australia high performance chief Pat Howard suggested last week his organisation would look at the “long-term and medium-term picture” in terms of rehabilitation.
But Clarke has Brisbane in mind.
CA is yet to reveal a deadline for the hamstrung skipper to show he’s fit, with coach Darren Lehmann insisting last week it will not be a distraction for the squad.
Clarke is listed to bat for his Sydney club Western Suburbs on Saturday, if he is unable to do that then a line is likely to be struck through his name.
A shadow batsman is set to be included in the squad, with Shaun Marsh and Phillip Hughes considered frontrunners.
Despite three weeks of much conjecture following the woeful 2-0 Test series loss to Pakistan, national selectors are expected to spring few surprises on Monday.
Clarke is one of few question marks.
Shane Watson, who missed the tour of the UAE because of ankle and calf injuries, is now fit and expected to replace Glenn Maxwell at first drop.
Watson batted at No.3 throughout Australia’s 5-0 thumping of England last summer, averaging almost 40.
He has scored the Test side’s only two centuries at No.3 in the post-Ricky Ponting era.
Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood have been rested from the upcoming Sheffield Shield round due to Test squad selection.
Paceman Ryan Harris has asked CA for another Shield hit-out this week to prove he is right to go after major knee surgery.
Opener Chris Rogers and offspinner Nathan Lyon, who traditionally makes good use of the Gabba’s bounce, are tipped to be retained despite mediocre returns against Pakistan.
Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has overcome a right shoulder injury, while allrounder Mitch Marsh will also retain his spot in the XI after impressing against Pakistan.
Haddin is likely to lead the side if Clarke is ruled out.
Possible 13-man Test squad: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Steve Smith, Mitch Marsh, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Shaun Marsh.