With the recent exits of Shane Warne and Brad Hogg, Australia's spin-bowling stocks have been described as fragile at the very best.
The return of the injured duo -- Beau Casson and Bryce McGain – from the Australia A" tour to India, has forced the selectors into casting their eyes further and look at untried spinners, all of whom currently possess an expensive first class bowling average of under 40.
Selectors have been forced to look at bowlers Jason Krejza, Aaron Heal, Nathan Hauritz, Xavier Doherty and New South Wales teenager Steven Smith, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
What is most alarming is that between them, Casson and McGain have played just one Test and both are widely considered a class above the remaining crop of Australian first-class spinners.
Only Hauritz possesses any international pedigree, having replaced Shane Warne in Australia's last Test in India four years ago.
The absence of batting and off-spinning all-rounder Andrew Symonds has compounded the selectors" problems.
According to the paper, Symonds's absence will almost certainly pave the way for Shane Watson to make his return to the Test squad, although the Queenslander will face stiff opposition from Simon Katich for the No.6 position.
Katich's left-arm wrist spin, as much as his prolific batting, should give him an edge in the slow, turning conditions, although Watson''s successful return to one-day international cricket this year has enthused selectors.
The Australians' tour begins with a practice match starting on October 2.