First Ashes Test: England v Australia
Venue: The Swalec Stadium, Cardiff Date: 8-12 July
Coverage: Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave, Red Button and BBC Sport website, plus live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles. Live on Sky Sports
Hauritz is yet to find his best form while on tour
Australia spinner Nathan Hauritz's hopes of being selected for the first Ashes Test have been boosted after he was backed by coach Tim Nielsen.
Hauritz is the only specialist spinner in the 16-strong Australian party but has struggled with his form.
He took combined figures of 2-260 from his two appearances against Sussex at Hove and England Lions at New Road.
But Nielsen said: "Nathan has got better and better as we have gone on - I feel he has improved."
However, Nielsen will make no decision on whether to play Hauritz on Wednesday until he has viewed the Cardiff wicket.
Nielsen said: "We won't know until we get to Cardiff what side to select and the conditions will be critical.
"Nathan is comfortable with how his game is progressing. He was below his best in the first innings at Hove and the wicket didn't offer a lot of spin or bounce at Worcester but at least he was able to get some rhythm.
"He changed his pace a lot more and was able to cause a few more issues out of the rough for their left-handers.
"Remembering England's Test squad usually has three left-handers to finish their order off and two at the top, an off-spinner will be pretty handy in that regard."
Nielsen is happy with the progress Australia have made during the past few weeks before the Ashes gets under way after their early elimination from the ICC World Twenty20 competition.
He said: "I think the whole three weeks we have been here has been spot-on. We've been lucky to have had no rain. It has not interrupted preparation.
"We've been able to up the tempo the whole way through ahead of Wednesday. There was no point in us being at our absolute best a week-and-a-half ago."