Talented: David Warner can achieve anything in cricket if he is focussed. Photo: Edwina Pickles
Something strange happened this week - I started to pay attention to Australia's one-day series in India.
In part, because the games have been absolute belters.
But the other reason is that performances in the limited-overs format will have a role to play in picking our team for the first Ashes Test at the Gabba in less than a month.
The unusual scheduling has meant while we're playing a bunch of 50-over games on the subcontinent, England has arrived on our shores in preparation to retain the treasured urn.
Alastair Cook and company jetted into Perth on Friday to get used to the bouncy conditions and ensure they have the perfect lead-up to continue their recent dominance over the old enemy.
In contrast, Australia's Test contingent are spread out between the one-day series in India and representing their states in the Ryobi Cup based at suburban grounds around Sydney.
It's hardly the perfect build-up to the most important Ashes series in recent memory.
Australia had little choice but to squeeze in a seven-game one-day series on the subcontinent given the immense amounts of money on offer in India.
Condensing the domestic 50-over competition into a month-long tournament played in the one city in front of tiny crowds is a different story altogether.
While the free-to-air television audiences on Gem have been handy, players are understandably concerned at having all the one-day cricket played in October, denying them a chance to push for national honours later in the summer.
The usual diet of Sheffield Shield games would have given those Test specialists, such as Ed Cowan, Chris Rogers and Peter Siddle, the perfect chance to get in form before the first Ashes contest.
As it happens, Australia's players will have one or possibly two first-class matches to get their eye in before facing a rampant England in Brisbane on November 21. In Canberra on Friday signing copies of his new book At the Close of Play, former Test captain Ricky Ponting believed players were used to switching between formats and would be ready for the Ashes.
''There's plenty of Shield cricket to play when they get back,'' Ponting said. ''It's not ideal, but it never really is.
''Modern players now are changing over from series to series on a weekly basis, so they should be OK.''
The big question is: How much should one-day form be taken into account when it comes to selecting the Test team?
George Bailey is the perfect case in point. Dave Warner another.
Bailey has been feasting on the batter-friendly pitches in India, compiling several half-centuries to jump to the top of the queue to fill the No.6 spot in the Test batting order. His form overall in the 50-over game in the past 12 months has been outstanding.
Coupled with his leadership skills and vast experience in state cricket, the 32-year-old appears to be the perfect candidate to make the step up. Bailey's record in first-class cricket is solid without being spectacular.
An average of a tick over 38 with 14 centuries from 170 innings would have barely created a wave back in the heady days when Australia dominated the Test arena.
However, with the ranks decidedly thinner following the departures of bats such as Ponting and Mike Hussey in recent years, Bailey appears to be worth a gamble.
Meanwhile, Warner has let his brutal bat do the talking for NSW, treating state bowling line-ups with absolute disdain and sending a clear message he's ready for a national recall.
In a perfect world, the selectors would have wanted to see both players have three or four Shield games to gauge how they can adapt to a red ball, how they cope with the pressures of a full slips cordon and tighter fields.
Circumstances haven't delivered them that opportunity.
Michael Bevan was an outstanding talent in coloured clothing, perhaps the best Australia has seen in the limited-overs format, but struggled to have the same success in Test cricket.
Handling the short ball was his major downfall, as it is with Phillip Hughes, while Warner's shot selection and inability to restrain himself and let good balls go through to the keeper - along with belting English batsman Joe Root in the pub - have held him back.
''As a batter that's all you can do, score runs in any game that you play,'' Ponting said.
''I'm sure they [the selectors] will be looking at [India], and they'll be looking at the domestic form of guys like Warner, and I think they'll pay more attention once the Shield cricket starts.''
One thing is clear. There won't be any excuses if Australia doesn't at least become more competitive on home soil.
No amount of limited-overs trophies, not even the World Cup, will dull the pain while England continues to hold on to the Ashes.