Australia's Ashes batting at sixes and sevens

Australia's selections in India have reaffirmed the doubts hovering over Glenn Maxwell and Matthew Wade leading into this summer's Ashes.

As much as Australia's hierarchy has tried to dismiss the relevance of the pair's demotions for the Tests, neither player will return home certain of playing at the Gabba.

Both will need to start the Sheffield Shield season with a bang after failing to make the most of their opportunities in the one-day international series in India.

While it is dangerous to draw conclusions for the longer form based on the 50-over format, George Bailey's promotion in 2013 after a hot campaign in India shows selectors are open to the idea.

Captain Steve Smith said earlier this month that runs and wickets on the subcontinent would not hurt when selectors assess their Ashes prospects.

Maxwell has shown he can prosper in the Test scene, as he showed with his maiden century in the India series, but his return of 259 at 37, while sound, has not shut the door on challengers.

He will be particularly vulnerable if selectors deem they need a seam-bowling option at No.6. That would give Hilton Cartwright, Marcus Stoinis, Moises Henriques and Queensland's Jack Wildermuth a chance to break into the XI, though all four have by no means bulletproof credentials.

Cartwright did himself few favours with twin failures this series but finished last summer with a flourish after his Test debut. His bowling remains a query at Test level.

Stoinis has been one of Australia's better players this series but his numbers with bat (35) and ball (32) at first-class level are moderate.

Henriques averaged 65 with the bat last summer in the shield but, by his own admission, needs to bowl more to convince selectors he can be a Test all-rounder. Wildermuth is the bolter but selectors strongly considered him to replace Mitchell Marsh in India before opting for Stoinis.

Unlike 12 months ago, Maxwell is likely to be afforded more opportunities up the order for Victoria after the departures of Stoinis and Wade. He is also close with Peter Handscomb, who as state captain sets the batting order.

Wade is under extreme pressure after scores of five, four, eight, nine, two and three not out in his past six hits. He is averaging 20 since his Test recall last summer.

The gloveman was dropped for the third one-dayer but recalled for Thursday night's win, which ensured Australia would avoid a whitewash.

Stand-in coach David Saker warned against reading too much into Maxwell and Wade's axings.

"None of our selections are looking forward to the summer, we're just looking at the next game and trying to win the game in front of us," he said.

"What happens in the summer happens, but we've still got four games in this series.

"Myself and [selector on duty] Mark Waugh, and we asked Steven Smith, we just talked about what's going to be the best for the team and that's what we always do.

"There's never been an eye on what's going to happen in the summer."

Australia's two-wicket win in the fourth ODI was set up by David Warner's ton in his 100th match and a pair of crucial late strikes by Kane Richardson that hobbled India's run chase.

This story Australia's Ashes batting at sixes and sevens first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.