India's chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar put the senior players on notice Saturday, saying they could not take their places in the team for granted.
India's Twenty20 celebrations have been abruptly cut short by Australia, who have raced to a 2-0 lead in the seven-match series after the first game was abandoned due to rain.
The reversal has put the spotlight on the seniors who were not part of the team that won the recent Twenty20 world championship in South Africa.
While senior-most member of the squad Sachin Tendulkar has scores of 0, 16 and 43, former skipper Rahul Dravid has managed 31 and 0. Sourav Ganguly is yet to put on his batting pads as he is recuperating from a hamstring injury.
Vengsarkar hinted that selectors might have to make tough choices if they continued to fail, amid clamour from fans to bring back youngsters from the triumphant Twenty20 squad.
"Definitely, the threshold has reduced, no question about it," he was quoted as saying in the Mid-Day newspaper.
"There are many players like S. Badrinath and Suresh Raina who are performing with the India A side. These guys are waiting for their chance and you cannot ignore them.
"It's a professional set-up and nobody can take their place for granted," said the former Test opener.
India's cricketing great Sunil Gavaskar also took a swipe at the home team's below-par performance in the series so far.
"The heady experience of watching some stunning saves and incredible catches at the ICC World Twenty20 seems like a distant dream," he wrote in his syndicated column for the Times Of India.
"The Indians have talked the talk but have not walked the walk as yet and on present evidence they hardly seem like doing so."
The next two matches of the series will be played in Chandigarh on Monday and in Baroda on Thursday.