Australia's fast bowling stocks are under the microscope after the hosts' illness curse continued, raising the prospect of the flagging one-day team fielding two debutants on Friday.
Josh Hazlewood has been sent home to Sydney to recover from a virus, while wicketkeeper Tim Paine is in doubt for the second game in Brisbane as he tries to shake off a bout of gastro. The pair join captain Steve Smith, Pat Cummins and England's Joe Root to have fallen ill since Christmas.
Western Australia speedster Jhye Richardson is set to make his ODI debut on Friday, while the in-form Alex Carey will fly to Brisbane on Friday as stand-by for Paine.
Paine trained on Thursday but was not well enough to fulfil a planned media commitment.
Carey's promotion ahead of former Test glovemen Matthew Wade and Peter Nevill is the strongest sign he is now viewed as Paine's understudy.
It is a massive blow for Wade, who had been Australia's first choice behind the stumps in the Test and 50-over formats until this summer. His international future now appears bleak.
The stage is set for the Australians to prove wrong comments by England seamer James Anderson that they lacked depth in their pace ranks.
With Pat Cummins rested and Hazlewood ruled out, much responsibility now rests on the left arm of Mitchell Starc, the only member of Australia's Test attack playing at the Gabba.
The inexperienced Richardson and limited-overs specialist Andrew Tye round out a pace trio that will have its work cut out against one of the most powerful batting line-ups in the one-day arena.
Richardson, 21, who made his international debut last summer in the Twenty20 format, has played only five first-class games. His 50-over record at state level of 13 wickets at 30 from eight games suggests he has been picked on potential over performance.
The youngster is one of the fastest bowlers in the country. He turned heads in a shield game against NSW where he was clocked at 148km/h, quicker than Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc.
"He can bowl fast, he can swing it, has got a couple of variations of slower balls, he's someone who thinks about his bowling quite a bit for such a young guy who has that raw pace," World Cup-winning opener Aaron Finch said.
"I think he'll provide a lot to this team with Josh and Patty not playing. If he gets his opportunity, it'll be very exciting with Starcy, AJ [Tye] and whoever the selectors go with.
"I don't think there's a lack of depth at all."
Tye, with his changes of pace and variations, has been one of the best bowlers in the Big Bash League but also performed well for WA's one-day team, with 50 wickets at 22.
He failed to take a wicket on debut in Melbourne, but with 0-43 from 10 overs was the most economical quick in the match.
"[He] bowled beautifully in a pretty difficult time when Jason Roy was on fire and Joe Root was playing well," Finch said. "The way he held his nerve was really impressive in that middle part."
Australia's batsmen also have a point to prove after their struggles last year in New Zealand, England and India.
There were encouraging signs for the new-look middle order, but Finch said untimely wickets cost the team dearly in the series opener. The Victorian made a century but has accepted blame for getting out approaching the hectic final 10 overs.
"When we were having quite a bit of success, we had one of the top four going on and getting a really big hundred.
"The other day I left us hanging and Mitch [Marsh], with 50, left us hanging a little bit. So on the back of that we have talked a lot about the middle order, and guys stepping up."