George Bailey will have one innings against England in the next few days to confirm he has a future as a Test batsman.
And the Australian coaching staff asked reserve batsman Alex Doolan to remain with the team throughout the fifth Test, a clear sign he is being considered for next month's tour of South Africa.
Bailey missed out on runs at the SCG yesterday. He was dismissed in familiar fashion, poking at a lifting delivery from Stuart Broad to edge a catch to the slips.
Bailey's departure for one gave him just 137 runs at 22.83 in the series.
His only half-century came in the second Test when he had a licence to hit out as Australia chased quick runs.
Former Test batsman Tom Moody said the Australian selectors had missed an opportunity to blood Doolan and that Bailey had been exposed as a batsman short of Test class.
"Missed opportunity for Bailey & Doolan," Moody said on Twitter.
"The later (sic) should be making his debut today! Bailey selection only failure this summer!"
Bailey is likely to travel to South Africa - but as captain of the Twenty20 team that will play three games against the Proteas before travelling to Bangladesh for the World T20 championship.
Doolan is poised to be the next addition to the top order.
He would have played at the SCG had No.3 Shane Watson not recovered from a groin strain and has been under close watch by national selector John Inverarity since the start of last summer.
The Tasmanian's seeding as Australia's next batsman was confirmed when he was withdrawn from the Melbourne Renegades squad to remain with the Test team at the SCG.
"Alex Doolan will remain with the Australian squad for the duration of the Test as the Australian team coaching staff would like to continue working with him," a Cricket Australia spokesman said.
Australia are likely to take seven batsmen to South Africa as part of a 15 or 16-man squad.
Left-hander Phil Hughes, who scored centuries in each innings against the Proteas during his second Test in Durban five years ago, could be recalled after a strong start to the Sheffield Shield season for South Aust- ralia.
He has scored three centuries among 549 runs at 61.00 to trail former Test batsmen Marcus North (593 at 98.83) and Cameron White (556 at 50.55) as the leading run scorers in the country.
Doolan has scored 391 runs at 39.10 for the Tigers but Inverarity believes his cool temperament and correct and upright technique makes him a strong chance for Test success.
- DID YOU KNOW? *
The number of runs Australia's George Bailey has scored this Ashes series