Sydney: The Australian selectors are still uncertain about the squad for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane, which may result in selection of as many as 15 players.
The squad to face England will be named on November 15. Till then, NSW will face Victoria and Tasmania play Queensland in two Shield matches beginning on Wednesday, while South Australia play England from Thursday.
The speculation about Australia`s best XI to face England at the Gabba may be demonstrated by chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch naming an even larger squad than that, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Among the younger aspirants, Callum Ferguson, Usman Khawaja and Indian Test debutant Peter George will press their cases in those final Shield matches if included in an extended Australian squad.
Vice-captain Michael Clarke was on guard himself before his return home from India.
"To me it`s about picking your best 11 players for that Test match, and conditions change as well, and I think we`re in a great position with the amount of people who are in good nick around the country, to pick that best 11," said Clarke.
"I`m certain the guys who haven`t played Test cricket will be trying to score as many runs and take as many wickets as they can to push for selection. The guys in the Test team at the moment, know we need to be at the top of our game, otherwise someone will take our spot," he said.
"There`s always competition for spots, and I`ve openly said that you`re never cemented in the Australian cricket team. It is important for all of us once we get back to Australia, to be performing, to have runs or wickets on the board, to put your hand up for the first Test," Clarke added.