Melbourne, Australia: Good show in domestic cricket might see Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh press their claims for the vacant No. 6 spot in Australia's test batting lineup. They have been included in the A squad for a tour match against England next week.
Khawaja, who has been in and out of the test team, improved his chances for a recall for the Ashes series beginning Nov. 21 in Brisbane with a dominant 104 for Queensland in its five-wicket win over New South Wales in last weekend's domestic limited-overs final.
On the other hand Marsh played strongly for Western Australia in the limited-overs tournament while another contender, George Bailey, has been leading Australia's one-day squad on a tour of India.
Alex Doolan and Callum Ferguson were among the other batsmen picked for the A team, which will be led by Moises Henriques for the Nov. 6-9 match against England at Hobart.
National selector John Inverarity said the Australia A and domestic first-class matches would be taken into consideration for selection for the first test against England. But he said selectors already have a good idea of who they want for the Gabba match, with one batting position and at least one bowling spot open.
Australia's lineup has been missing a middle-order anchor since Mike Hussey retired at the end of the last Australian summer, not long after long-time No. 3 and former skipper Ricky Ponting quit. Khawaja, David Warner, Phillip Hughes and Shane Watson -- who all prefer to play closer to the top of the order -- and Steven Smith all batted at No. 6 during the last Ashes series as Australia's selectors constantly shuffled the order in a desperate bid to find the best combination.
England beat Australia 3-0 for its third consecutive Ashes series victory, and the squad arrived in Perth on the weekend full of confidence that it can win the old urn four consecutive times for the first time in more than a century.