Trevor Bayliss has put England’s pacemen on notice, declaring his intent to play two spinners at some point in the Ashes.
Coach Bayliss will meet with national selectors on Tuesday, settling on a squad for the third Test that starts on July 29 at Edgbaston.
Tweakers Moeen Ali and Radil Ashid were included in 13-man squads for the first and second Tests.
Ali was preferred at Cardiff, while Ashid was close to playing at Lord’s – only for a finger injury to rule him out of contention.
Bayliss confirmed legspinner Ashid is very much in the mix to make his Test debut next week.
“Not trying to pre-empt anything before the selection meeting, but I would think we’d probably take two spinners,” Bayliss said.
“I would like to play two spinners somewhere in this tour and currently he’s thought of as one of the top two spinners in the country.
“So I’d be guessing he’d probably be there in that 13 if his finger’s ok.”
England’s bowling was substandard at Lord’s, where Australia strolled to a 405-run win, but their top order is a much bigger concern.
England have slumped to 3-52 or worse in eight of their past 13 innings, with Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance and Ian Bell all under pressure to retain their spots.
“I’m sure all of the players know. It wouldn’t be a surprise to any player in the team that when you play badly, positions are going to be looked at and discussed,” Bayliss said.
“I’m sure it certainly will be.
“It’s a concern that we are 3-40 or 4-40 and they know that.
“Sometimes they’re almost trying too hard.”
Bayliss conceded he had limited information about those players pressing for selection.
“I’ll be relying pretty much on the others. (Jonny) Bairstow, obviously I know of, and a few of the guys in the one-day team,” he said.
Bairstow has scored a century in his past three county games, suggesting he is at the front of the queue.
There’s been plenty of talk about the Test pitches in England, but Bayliss pointed out the county wickets might be the bigger issue.
“There’s always a lot of low scores in first-class cricket here. Is that preparing our batters to actually bat for a long time? Possibly not,” he said.