MELBOURNE – Australia's hopes of resolving their batting problems in time for the test series against Pakistan have proved forlorn, with a slew of candidates failing to stake their claim since the Ashes.
Selectors name the test squad on Thursday but will have to rely on their gut rather than hard numbers when picking an opening partner for David Warner and filling a middle order vacancy following the drawn series in England.
The Australia A tour game against Pakistan was to have offered an unofficial audition but all of the hopefuls fluffed their lines on Tuesday barring Cameron Bancroft, who scored 49 as the hosts were bowled out for a paltry 122.
Opener Bancroft, who was dropped mid-series in England after a string of failures, was only picked in the 'A' team after Nic Maddinson pulled out on mental health grounds and felt his chances of a recall were dim.
"Probably highly unlikely, I would have thought,” the 26-year-old told reporters.