Australians aiming for Ashes 2013-14 berths with strong show on India tour

With injuries and certain players out of form, the likes of Clint McKay (left) and George Bailey might get selected in the Australian Test squad for the 2013-14 Ashes series with a good outing in India © Getty Images

Sydney: Oct 4, 2013

Australia head to India on Saturday for a One-Day International (ODI) series against the world champions with selectors making clear players have the chance to force themselves into the frame for Ashes selection.

The 14-man squad contains just three players who featured in the fifth Test against England at the Oval in August — all-rounders Shane Watson and James Faulkner and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin.

Others are either injured or will be playing Sheffield Shield cricket, which more closely resembles Test cricket, in preparation for the return Ashes series that starts in Brisbane on November 21.

With Michael Clarke ruled out of the India tour with a long-standing back problem, George Bailey is in charge and he said it was an opportunity to push for Ashes selection.

“They (coach Darren Lehmann and national selector John Inverarity) made it really clear that doing well on this Indian tour, scoring runs over there will be looked upon in the same regard as the guys that are staying back and playing the first couple of rounds of Shield cricket,” Bailey said.

“If you’re scoring runs at international level with that sort of pressure then it’s obviously going to be looked upon pretty favourably.

“You have to take the selectors’ words that international runs in one-day cricket will count towards hopefully a Test selection.”

Bailey has an eye on Australia’s unsettled Test top-order, as does fellow tourist Phil Hughes, while injuries to fast bowlers including Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson have opened the door for Mitchell Johnson and Clint McKay to impress.

Australia are due to play seven ODIs and one Twenty20 International in India from October 10, coached by Steve Rixon while Lehmann rests.