Cricket's congested schedule will come into sharp focus during the next seven weeks, when some Test stars face the prospect of a single Sheffield Shield tune-up for world No.1 India.
Australia's four-Test series against India starts at Adelaide Oval on December 6.
The Shield season commences next week with the first of five rounds held before the Test squad assemble in Adelaide.
Those games should serve as Test auditions, with Australia's batting order likely to remain in a state of flux based on Tuesday's collapse in Dubai.
But the opening half of the first-class season overlaps with Australia's Twenty20 series against Pakistan in the UAE plus limited-overs action against South Africa.
It means Glenn Maxwell and others on the cusp of the Test squad could be forced to bolster their baggy-green bid by whacking white balls.
Maxwell will be in the UAE with the national T20 squad when the second Shield round starts.
The allrounder will miss the third Shield round if selected in the ODI squad. The fourth Shield round clashes with Australia's one-off T20 against South Africa on November 17.
Pacemen Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have recovered from back injuries but are still on restricted workloads as they target an international return against the Proteas in early November.
The fifth Shield round, when NSW take on Western Australia at the new Perth stadium, may be Hazlewood and Cummins' only chance to play first-class cricket before they confront India's star-studded batting order.
"There's a gap of about a two or three weeks between the end of the ODIs and the first Test, so at least one Shield game," Cummins told reporters at the launch of Fox Cricket.
"Maybe two. We'll see how we're going.
"I'll play a couple of second XI games for NSW (this month), get some overs in and get really right for the ODIs."
Steve Waugh last month urged Cricket Australia to treat the Shield with more respect, suggesting a return to hard-nosed domestic cricket will improve the national team's form.
Scheduling and the importance of the first-class competition were among many hot topics to crop up in last year's protracted pay dispute.
A new scheduling advisory group was established as part of the pay agreement.
CRICKET SCHEDULE CLASHES *1st Shield round (Oct 16-19), 2nd Test in the UAE (Oct 16-20) *2nd Shield round (Oct 25-28), T20 series in the UAE (Oct 24-28) *3rd Shield round (Nov 3-6), ODI series v SAfrica (Nov 4-11) *4th Shield round (Nov 16-20), T20 v SAfrica (Nov 17)
Australian Associated Press