Under-pressure batsman Peter Handscomb has received strong support from his state coach Andrew McDonald, who has dismissed talk of dropping the Victorian for Mitchell Marsh for the third Test as "hype".
Trevor Hohns' panel, which is running three from three this series after the success of Cameron Bancroft, Shaun Marsh and Tim Paine, has a selection headache next week heading into a match that could well deliver the urn back to Australia.
Having started the season as a lock, Handscomb's hold on his place in the XI loosened after a lean trot for state and country. Former Test stars Ricky Ponting, Kevin Pietersen and Chris Rogers are among those who have questioned the Victorian's unorthodox technique, which has not stood up to a stern examination from the England attack.
Although selectors stuck with an out-of-sorts George Bailey during the Ashes whitewash four years ago, that situation was different. Back then, the Australian team already had an all-rounder in Shane Watson whereas the current side is lacking a top-six batsman who can roll the arm over.
McDonald, who played four Tests as an all-rounder against South Africa in 2009, says selectors would be making a "huge call" to dump a player with Handscomb's record for Marsh, whose Test average of 22 is less than half that of the incumbent No.5.
"Pete's averaging 47.35 after 12 Tests. He's also been on the subcontinent; not many players come back with an average like that intact," McDonald said.
"It's a bit of hype, to be honest. He's had three hits, if you thought he was good enough leading into the first Test I'd imagine going into the third Test 2-0 up you would probably be in that side.
"A top six batter averaging 47 versus a potential change with another batter. What's Mitch Marsh averaging? 21? It would be a huge call. Runs are the key for anyone playing in the top six batters.
"I'd imagine an unchanged line-up leading into that Test match. The quicks probably got through unscathed with a quick kill on the morning of the fifth day."
McDonald does not believe Marsh, with 402 runs at 42.66 in the Shield this season, had done enough to tip out Handscomb even though they play different roles in the top six.
While McDonald acknowledged Handscomb was not in the form of 12 months ago, he says the 26-year-old does not need to make major technical changes. He has backed Handscomb to find a way to combat England's tactics,.
"Everyone's different. As long as it's repeatable to you and you can find a way then that's your technique. I don't think there is a perfect technique," McDonald said.
"Sometimes we look for the players that are easy on the eye and say they've got a good technique but sometimes they're not the ones punching out the numbers we expect of Test cricketers - and at this stage Pete is doing that."
"When you're 2-0 up and you have a guy averaging those numbers in your top six with a potential to be replaced by someone who isn't punching out those numbers, is it a realistic change they'll make?
"The selectors, to their credit, have pulled a few moves this summer that have worked and they may get creative and choose to leave out Pete but I'd say a guy averaging that in the top six from his first 12 Test matches would be a good bet to work through that.
"He's a good player before the summer started and he's still a good player."