Test batting prospects George Bailey and Phillip Hughes are set to be given only one Sheffield Shield match to press their claims for Australia's squad for the first Ashes Test.
Cricket Australia has confirmed it will announce its squad for the Gabba match on November 12, in conjunction with the official opening of its expanded Centre of Excellence development headquarters in Brisbane.
Players currently involved in the limited-overs series in India, such as stand-in captain Bailey and Hughes, are not due to leave India until November 3, just after the opening round of the shield. The second round begins on November 6. The third round begins on November 13, the day after the scheduled announcement.
CA was pilloried in the past home Ashes series in 2010-11 for announcing a squad of 17 on November 15, 10 days before the start of the match. This announcement will be nine days before the start of the match, and will immediately precede the third round of the shield which begins on November 13.
When England hosted Australia for the Ashes earlier this year it announced its first-Test squad, of 13, on July 6, four days before the match began.
The Australian players chosen in the initial Ashes squad are scheduled to convene on November 17, the day after the third round of the shield is completed.
The most pressing issue for selectors is which batsman should fill the vacant middle-order slot, probably at number six. Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin batted in that position in Australia's last Test, with bowling all-rounder James Faulkner at seven. Despite Faulkner's encouraging debut in England selectors are not considering him for an all-rounder slot, rating his bowling much higher at present.
Bailey and Hughes are considered likely candidates for inclusion at the Gabba Test. South Australia's Michael Klinger has enjoyed an impressive start to the domestic season in the Ryobi Cup one-day competition, as have Victorians Cameron White and Matthew Wade and Queensland Test discard Usman Khawaja.
Among the seamers James Pattinson and Mitch Starc are sure to be unavailable due to injury, while Jackson Bird only resumed bowling after a back injury on Tuesday.
Workhorse paceman Ryan Harris' recovery from the hamstring strains he suffered in the series-ending Ashes Test at The Oval in August is progressing well, with the veteran resuming for Queensland in its tight Ryobi Cup loss to Tasmania on Tuesday.
Pace mainstay Peter Siddle has played two matches in the competition since Sunday, for Victoria, while uncapped NSW prospect Josh Hazlewood has played three.
Mitch Johnson and Nathan Coulter-Nile are the key pace candidates for the Gabba who will only get to play one shield match before the squad announcement, due to their involvement in Australia's eight-match limited-overs series in India.