Ryan Harris was right to declare through the week that he thought the national selectors would already have a good idea who they wanted in the Test side come Brisbane.
Selection chairman Trevor Hohns would have known even before the Sheffield Shield campaign began who he really wanted at No.6 and as wicketkeeper.
Now, whether those men have since done what Hohns had hoped they would through the opening two rounds of the shield is another story. So far there has yet to be a standout candidate for either role, and that hasn't helped anyone. But will Hohns and fellow Test selectors Darren Lehmann and Greg Chappell back their original hunch come official selection this week? Or could a last-ditch bid in the third round of the shield, beginning on Monday, vault Peter Nevill or Shaun Marsh into the side or ensure one of Glenn Maxwell or Hilton Cartwright retain their spots from Australia's last Test, in Bangladesh?
The battle for berths has sparked plenty of chat on the first-class scene, according to Victorian captain and Australian batsman Peter Handscomb.
"We all understand there are a couple of spots there up for grabs and batters and keepers know they are very close. They just need to score and for someone to put their hand up and they could potentially be playing in the Ashes," he said.
Maxwell, after a shaky start against the Bulls in Brisbane, came good against South Australia at the MCG with a pair of half-centuries. That said, his first innings dismissal against the Redbacks, when he awkwardly attempted to evade a short ball delivered from around the wicket, with the delivery trickling on to his stumps, was not a great look.
He has played all seven of his Test overseas and surely deserves a chance on home soil.
It's been said the selectors are after a batsman who can come in at 4-20 and, through temperament and graft, restore order. It was Brad Haddin who led the later-order rebound four years ago when England was in town. This hasn't been lost on those close to the team in wake of recent batting collapses - although it could be considered an overly defensive mindset if that is what is at the forefront of thinking. If it is, why shouldn't Maxwell be given the opportunity to perform that role?
He is adamant he has the game to flourish in Test cricket, eschewing his long-time X-factor tag. He also offers brilliant fielding and handy overs of off-spin.
West Australians Hilton Cartwright and Marsh and South Australian bolter Jake Lehmann will also be keen for a big week. Lehmann has runs on the board already, having crunched 103 and 93 in the draw against Victoria. He had been among those threatening for Test selection last summer but could not deliver the major knock needed in the shield immediately following Australia's collapse in Hobart, which sparked widespread change.
When it comes to taking the gloves, it's felt Nevill has inched ahead of Wade but South Australian Alex Carey also remains in the frame. One senior Victorian player believes the selectors will stick with Wade.
Wade's batting has been on a disturbing freefall through recent Tests, the one-day series in India and the opening rounds of the shield, where the new Tasmanian captain made one and six against WA and nine and 17 against the Bulls. Victoria is up next.
His two Test centuries came in his first incarnation as gloveman. He has passed 50 only once in 16 innings since his Test return against South Africa in Adelaide.
Even wicketkeeping great Ian Healy is unsure which way the selectors should go, declaring Nevill and Wade both have a lot to offer.
What Australia needs is a gloveman who is safe behind the stumps but can average 30 with the bat. Forget trying to find someone capable of producing the dynamic innings of Adam Gilchrist (it could be decades before his type is seen again) or even Haddin, who plundered 493 at 61.62 four years ago.
Nevill looked to have turned the corner with the bat in his third last Test knock, an unbeaten second innings of 60 when Australia crashed to defeat against South Africa in Perth last summer.
When he conjured only three and six in Hobart, with concerns about his lack of voice behind the stumps having also mounted, his time was deemed up by Hohns, who had just replaced Rod Marsh as selection chairman. Was he unlucky? Perhaps. He is seen as having better technique as a gloveman but, again, his form with the bat so far this summer has not been what he nor the selectors had wanted.
He will hope the Blues' trip to Queensland this week is fruitful, where local lad, Test opener Matt Renshaw, will also be keen for a long knock after a modest start to the season.
One thing so far is clear - the selection puzzle has become more like a headache.