Former Australian fast bowler Brendon Julian is of the view that the team`s middle order is currently under immense pressure to perform and deliver.
Now a cricket commentator, Julian conceded that the 17-man squad named by the Andrew Hilditch-led National Selection Panel wouldn`t have too much bearing on the final XI to take the field in Brisbane.
He, however, did say that the selectors had indicated that Marcus North and Mike Hussey were still in a battle to maintain their place.
"Obviously there still a chance for everyone in that squad to be selected if they can put some form on the board," Julian said.
He added: "I think what (the squad) does show is that the pressure is on the middle order because they have picked (Usman) Khawaja and (Callum) Ferguson in there."
Fellow cricket commentator Mark Waugh said the NSP is keeping all of its options open.
"I think they are keeping their options open with the upcoming Australia A and Shield matches, so I think that is common sense," Waugh said.
"If Khawaja and Ferguson score runs, and Hussey and North fail, then it allows the selectors to have the option," he added.
Julian and Waugh both viewed Phil Hughes`s surprise omission as a sign that the selectors felt secure with their top order, and that picking the 21-year-old was unnecessary.