No instant impact from Hauritz
At a seaside ground so genteel that the man on the tannoy feels it is appropriate to offer a lady spectator best wishes on her 62nd birthday, Australia's Ashes preparations are beginning in earnest.
The ongoing four-day match at Hove against a near-enough full-strength Sussex side will not answer all the issues that must be addressed ahead of selection for the first Test in Cardiff, but it might show who's hot and who's not.
Thursday on the south coast - the second day - was always likely to be an important day for Nathan Hauritz, the sole specialist spinner selected in Australia's Ashes party.
With Australia declaring on their overnight 349-7 - in which Hauritz hit a rapid, unbeaten 65 which would have done him no harm at all - Ricky Ponting had the opportunity to give five bowlers a decent workout.
But in hot weather on a wicket getting drier by the hour, these were not the best conditions for the four quick bowlers to be operating in, so it was no surprise that Hauritz was asked to bowl his first five overs before lunch - and initially the signs were good.
He had the young right-hander Rory Hamilton-Brown in some trouble, but from the second over onwards things were less promising. Sussex opener Chris Nash, well established at the crease, hit Hauritz with the spin through midwicket for four. Precociously, Hamilton-Brown then skipped down the track to hit him for an easy six in an over costing 16.
Hauritz continued for three overs after lunch but was milked for easy runs and Ponting decided it was time to bring back Brett Lee.
Over the past year, the identity of Australia's Ashes tweaker became blurred as Beau Casson, Cameron White, Jason Krejza, and Bryce McGain were all given a go - and then given the boot.
So it was that the selectors returned to Hauritz, who seemed to have been on the fringes of Australia squads for several years without making a breakthrough.
Indeed, so peripheral was his involvement in the 2003 World Cup that when I stepped into a fast-food joint in Port Elizabeth during the tournament and saw a young chap taking away a large stack of boxed pizzas it took me a while to realise who it was.
Now he is no longer Australia's pizza delivery boy, Hauritz needs to nail down his place in the side - but there was little evidence in his initial spell at Hove that he is going to have a major impact in the Test series which starts next month.
Lee is another bowler with something to prove, having lost the role of Australia's spearhead to Mitchell Johnson, who was rested for this game. For the first time in many a campaign, the blond paceman is no longer an automatic Test pick after injury blighted the start of his year.
But running down the hill with the new ball - with the familiar 17-stride run-up, three slips and a gully in place - he delivered a wonderful first over, beating Michael Yardy three times. Then no-balls began cropping up, and he struggled to find the right line to the right-handers.
After lunch, now charging up the hill from the Sea End, he was much better. Luke Wright and Hamilton-Brown tried to dominate, but each man paid dearly for a flurry of boundaries by being dismissed by Lee.
If not 100% match-fit yet, he must be very close to it, bowling his 11th over of the day before three o'clock and still inconveniencing the batsmen with good pace.
By that stage, Peter Siddle, whose fluid, elegant action allows him to bowl long spells with no great apparent effort, was matching Lee's two-wicket haul, while Stuart Clark and Ben Hilfenhaus had each picked up a wicket.
Though everything suggested that it was a day to be bowling spin, it was the pacemen who were keeping Australia in good shape.