Sydney: Australian captain Ricky Ponting has said next month''s Twenty20 championship would have little or no impact on the hotly debated bowling line-up for the first Test against England.
Australia is scheduled to play four-day matches against Sussex in Hove and then the second-tier England Lions in Worcester in the days leading up to the first Test at Sophia Gardens, which starts on July 8.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, at least one of the five pacers in the 16-man Ashes tour party - Mitchell Johnson, Stuart Clark, Peter Siddle, Ben Hilfenhaus and Lee - must be omitted for the Cardiff Test and in all likelihood two of them could miss out because of the prospect of the Welsh pitch being tailor-made for spin.
With Johnson, the man of the series in South Africa in March, certain to spearhead the attack and both Clark and Siddle high in the pecking order, the World Twenty20, beginning next week in England, appeared to loom as a virtual audition for Lee and Hilfenhaus to press their claims.
However, before the Australian Twenty20 squad''s departure for England today, Ponting said the practice matches, not the hit-and-hope world championship, would be the key to solving the tourists'' fast-bowling selection dilemma.
"I don''t think you can really take much out of form in Twenty20 cricket when you''re looking at Test matches," the Australian captain said at the squad''s training base at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast yesterday.