Australia’s Test hopefuls fear long lockout
By locking in an unchanged Test squad for the three-match series against New Zealand Australian selectors have effectively locked out a bunch of baggy green contenders for up to 12 months.
Between the end of this home summer and the start of the next a two-Test series against Bangladesh, which is yet to be locked in, are the only matches on the red ball horizon.
Bowling rotations remain an option, a second spinner could be called-up for the SCG Test, and any injuries could create inclusion possibilities.
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But barring injury, or a complete disaster of a series against the Black Caps from any of the incumbent Aussie batsmen, places in the top six look rock solid.
"We are backing the current batting line-up to continue their form across the next three Tests," selection chairman Trevor Hohns said.
Hohns and Justin Langer have maintained their desire for a "core group". They want to shut the revolving door of selection.
Victorian opener Marcus Harris played nine of the 11 Tests before the recent romp against Pakistan but is now on the outer, staring down the barrel of a long wait to get back.
But the left-hander, who played every Test last home summer, has taken a "no worries" approach knowing national selection was, is and always will be a rollercoaster which you shouldn't ride if you can't handle the ups and downs.
"As soon as you are not picked I don't really worry about it too much," Harris said ahead of Saturday's final Sheffield Shield clash before the Big Bash break.
"They are not going to pick a bloke for one Test and then change it around straight away. You sort of know that you are probably going to be out of it for a little bit.
"I know that all I need to do is make runs in Shield cricket and whatever cricket I am playing and if a spot comes up hopefully my name is there to be spoken about."
Coping mechanisms are required as much as runs to deal with the uncertainty too.
Harris is pretty matter-of-fact about it, despite having experienced of the highs of achieving his baggy green dream then being told to go and get even better to get on the ride again.
"You understand that once you have played a lot of cricket you are going to have ups and downs and probably more downs than ups," he said.
"There's disappointment there for a little bit but you sort of get over it, get on with it and look forward to the next over, or the next innings."