TEN days out from the first Ashes ball being bowled - and hopefully not to second slip as Steve Harmison did in 2006 - Australia has more puzzles to solve and more questions marks over players than England.
The hosts look a little unsettled, even a bit confused.
The solution to this state of uncertainty is boldness and aggression. This has to start at the top, with chief selector Trevor Hohns along with colleagues Greg Chappell and Darren Lehmann.
First things first - our No.6.
Word on the street is Hilton Cartwright is the man most likely but while I like the Zimbabwe-born all-rounder, it would be the conservative selection.
Glenn Maxwell played in our last Test match in Chittagong - as did Cartwright for that matter - and the three preceding that, posting his maiden Test ton and averaging 36.
'Maxi' wants to be known as consistent and not the X factor, but I believe being the X factor is his way forward.
All teams need matchwinners and make no mistake, Maxi is one of those. Yes we will shake our heads and roll our eyes occasionally, but we have to accept the odd horror and enjoy his best when it comes off. He makes things happen in all facets of the game but needs encouragement from the leaders to express himself.
The big occasions bring out the best in this type of player and the selectors have to show faith in his talent. I hope he gets the nod over Cartwright.
We have to junk this notion of horses for courses, that Maxwell is just a subcontinental consideration, and a vote of confidence now could be repaid big time.
There's also a young bloke from Adelaide making runs and if Jake Lehmann - aka Boof Jr - continues to fire then it's just a matter of time for him. Stay patient young Boof and keep churning those runs out.
Barring something out of the ordinary, Maxwell gets two Tests - Brisbane and the day-nighter in Adelaide - and if he hasn't cemented his spot by then, no one could argue he hadn't been given his chance.
The same argument applies for the wicketkeeping position, the other contentious spot in the 5th-ranked - yes, fifth ranked, England is No.2, behind India - Test team.
Twelve months ago, Matthew Wade should never have been given another opportunity to keep for Australia but leaving him out now would be an even bigger selection blunder.
There has been a succession of stuff-ups with the keepers - Brad Haddin should not have been dropped for Nevill, Nevill should not have been booted for Wade.
We've twice made poor decisions. Let's not do it a third time.
Wade has not been making runs, but batting down the order on spinning, fizzing wickets in India and Bangladesh isn't easy.
For mine, stick with him at home and, like Maxwell, if after two Tests he hasn't made runs then Nevill comes straight in.
I understand selectors will want to make decisions that hold for the series and these are bold and aggressive picks can achieve that aim by providing strategic support and consistency.
There is talk about Matt Renshaw and his form slump, but as a young player with Test scores on the board, he plays. The Queenslander might need to decide just what sort of player he wants to be - he flirts a lot outside off stump for an opening batsmen - but he's a talent and young so stay patient here.
I'm hoping Peter Handscomb will be a very good Test player over a long period but playing back so much as he does, he might give the swingers from England something to play with. I'm backing him to be up to the challenge.
England's main concern is they have to pick two players to replace Ben Stokes.
He's an horrific loss for the Poms - they stand to pay a very high price for the all-rounder's stupidity - but I have a feeling our friendly Poms are trying hard to find a way for Ben to play a part sooner rather than later in this Ashes series.
One thing is certain, Test cricket as a spectacle is poorer for his absence.
Chris Woakes is a good all-rounder and he will play and the off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali's numbers are just as good as Stokes' - coming in at No.7, he's a big player for England.
The only real question for England is who bats at No.3? I think the answer is Jame Vince, the 26-year-old right-hander with seven Tests to his name, with skipper Joe Root at No.4
Vince is suited to Australian conditions, he likes pace and plays the short ball well. He could be the big find for England.
The one huge factor he will have to learn is that fine balance between attack and patience. He is quite an aggressive player, he likes to play his shots and he can sometimes try to overhit his cover drive.
That's something that will be in the thinking of Australia's trump cards - its pace trio.
Australia has the best bowling attack in the world and in home conditions, it will be very hard for the English batsmen if they don't start well.
Mitchell Starc is swinging that new ball around corners, and fast, Josh Hazlewood has picked up a yard of pace and will really test the techniques of some of the English top order, but it's Pat Cummins for me who could be the star of this Ashes series.
I think Cummins is ready to fire and will be the leading wicket-taker. He's bowling wonderfully well - Steve Smith needs to use him as an impact bowler, a bit like Michael Clarke used Mitchell Johnson.
I don't think the Poms understand just how fast he is and how good he is and will be in this series.
One real positive for Root's team is a lot of them are first-time Ashes tourists, so everything is exciting. They are up for a challenge.
However it is two old hands who could be the key for England.
James Anderson has struggled with the Kookaburra ball and in the Ashes generally - his average is almost 36 in Ashes Tests and over 38 in Australia, against 27 in all Tests - but watching him over the English summer I think he's bowling better than ever. At 35, this will be his last Ashes series a player and he will be desperate to right past failures
If he gets the Kookaburra swinging, look out, he will be a real handful.
His partner in crime, one-time Hoppers Crossing import Stuart Broad, has also struggled here but he too has been in super form and, importantly, he's got his pace back. They form a wonderful opening bowling partnership.
On paper Australia wins the series but it could come down to how well the main men with the bat - David Warner and Smith and Alastair Cook and Root - stand up to the opposition attacks.
If the Poms fire in the first two Tests where pitches will favour swing bowling this Ashes contest has the potential to be the best since 2005.
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