- Now Mister's apprentices must step up
- Ashes rethink has some bolters back in the mix
- Humble Hussey always felt at home in the shadows
1: THE USMAN KHAWAJA OPTION
Pros: The elegant left-hander has rebounded from the disappointment of last summer to force his way back into Test reckoning with solid form for his adopted state Queensland. Having been nominated as stand-by for Clarke, he should get first crack at replacing Hussey. Time is also on the 26-year-old's side.
Cons: Khawaja was hampered by a perceived limited stroke range and stop-start scoring rate during his first stint as a Test player. His fielding would also need to improve.
2: THE GLENN MAXWELL OPTION
Pros: By picking Maxwell at six above Matthew Wade, or at seven, Michael Clarke will have the option of a second slow bowler for the spin-friendly conditions on the subcontinent. Maxwell's explosive batting would also be of benefit in partnership with tailenders, who generally prefer the pace coming on to the bat.
Cons: The critics say the Victorian's batting is not strong enough to command a place as a specialist batsman and his off-spin lacks the potency to play as a front bowler. Which then raises the question: Do you want a jack of all trades but master of none?
3: THE SHANE WATSON OPTION
Pros: Historically, the all-rounder in the Australian team has batted at six as that allows him more time to rest in the dressing room after performing his duties with the ball. It would also enable the next man in line, Usman Khawaja, to bat at four, which better suits his style.
Cons: Watson is reassessing his future as an all-rounder, and if he gives up his bowling he will have to hold his spot purely through weight of runs at No. 4. The vice-captain's best form has been as an opener when the ball is new and the field is up.
4: THE DAVID HUSSEY OPTION
Pros: Hussey's call-up to replace his older brother would help alleviate the vast wealth of experience that has left the Australian dressing room. The Victorian has played over 100 limited-overs games for Australia and has hit a mountain of runs at an average of nearly 54 at first-class level. Also experienced in India and England.
Cons: At 35, the younger Hussey brother would only be a short-term solution. Nor has it been a happy Shield season for Victoria this summer with 120 runs at 17 and a highest score of 37.
5: THE MATT WADE OPTION
Pros: The gloveman has made a promising start to his Test career with the bat, as shown by his maiden century in the Caribbean and fighting half-century in Perth. His promotion would also enable Australia to play a second spinner or a fourth seamer.
Cons: Is it too much to ask a wicketkeeper so early in his international career to bat at No. 6? Wade is a natural strokeplayer who might be discouraged from showing his flair if lifted to a specialist batting position. And how will the extra responsibility affect his glovework?
6: THE ALEX DOOLAN OPTION
Pros: The Tasmanian has performed strongly in the Sheffield Shield, and made a brilliant 161 not out for Australia A against South Africa. He has also caught the eye of national selectors on more than one occasion this season.
Cons: As this is Doolan's first summer of consistent scoring, selectors might want to see more from the Launceston product before they reward him with a baggy green cap. At 27, Doolan is young enough to be a long-term No. 6 but his inexperience could count against him.