Cricket: It's about form, not location, Aussie Ashes hopefuls told

Ashes hopefuls on Australia's one-day international tour of India have been told good form there will count for as much as their rivals' success in Sheffield Shield games at home.

The 14-man party departs for the four-week tour today, and captain George Bailey says those hoping to be selected for the Ashes series starting at the Gabba on November 21 need not worry about missing the start of the Shield season.

Coach Darren Lehmann and national selector John Inverarity gave the same message during the annual player administration camp this week.

"They 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 playing the first couple of rounds of Shield cricket," Bailey said.

"I don't think there's any excuses for guys to be worried about what's ahead."

Bailey has an eye on Australia's unsettled test top batting six, as does fellow tourist Phil Hughes, while the many injuries to Australia's fast bowling corps have opened the door for Mitchell Johnson and Clint McKay.

Allrounders Shane Watson and James Faulkner and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin are the only members of the ODI touring party who played in the fifth Ashes Test at the Oval in August and they'll be keen to reinforce their form and spots.

While the shield games more closely resemble test cricket's format, Bailey and his team were told international ODI runs and wickets would count for as much.

"It has to be an audition," Bailey said. "That's something we spoke about. If you're scoring runs at international level with that sort of pressure then it's obviously going to be looked upon pretty favourably.

"We get back in time to play a Shield game, and there's an Australia A game at the same time.

"Guys will get an opportunity to come back and score some runs. It's challenging, but once again it's part of the modern game.

"I don't think there's an excuse for guys not to have that opportunity.

"You have to take the selectors' words that international runs in one-day cricket will count towards hopefully a test selection."


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