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Five key questions for national selectors

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Rob Forsaith

National selectors should be feeling upbeat about the future after consecutive day-night Test wins but there is still plenty for them to think about before the Boxing Day Test starts.

HOW LONG SHOULD NIC MADDINSON BE GIVEN TO PROSPER? Three batsmen made their Test debuts in a new-look order at Adelaide Oval. Matt Renshaw and Peter Handscomb have since made knocks of substance that suggest they will be in the side for some time. Maddinson hasn't fared so well, logging scores of zero, one and four in his Test career. Provided the side keeps winning, Maddinson is likely to be retained.

IF NOT MADDINSON? Maddinson has been retained in Australia's squad for the Boxing Day Test. Shaun Marsh looms as his potential replacement for the ensuing SCG Test, if the veteran is able to prove his fitness in the Big Bash League. Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell headline the contenders to force their way into the XI in the upcoming tour of India, but both have plenty of work to do to convince selectors they should be picked.

IS IT TIME TO INCLUDE AN ALLROUNDER IN THE XI? Since Andrew Flintoff dominated the 2005 Ashes series, selectors have been desperate to unearth an allrounder capable of swinging a Test. Mitch Marsh is in the mix for a recall after Australia's attack were overworked in the 145 overs it took to bowl Pakistan out in the fourth innings of the day-night Test in Brisbane.

IF SO, WHICH ALLROUNDER? Mitch Marsh is the leading contender. The West Australian hasn't exactly banged the door down but an unbeaten ODI knock of 76 came soon after he snagged six wickets in a Sheffield Shield game. James Faulkner and Marcus Stoinis are other options but the former is managing a chronic knee injury and the latter hasn't performed in the first half of the Shield season.

WHEN WILL CHADD SAYERS MAKE HIS TEST DEBUT? It is unlikely to be in Melbourne or Sydney. The pink-ball swing specialist was on the cusp of receiving his baggy green at the Gabba but selectors ultimately opted against a four-prong pace attack. It is hard to imagine Nathan Lyon will be dropped for the Boxing Day Test. Sayers is highly rated by national selectors but the South Australian will find it hard to force his way into the XI while Jackson Bird is still performing.

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