Mitch Marsh will miss the first Test against Pakistan after breaking his hand, opening the door for fellow Western Australia all-rounder Marcus Stoinis to come into Test contention.
The first ball of the opening Ashes Test is yet to be bowled but selectors are already giddy with excitement over one player’s performance.
In a press conference this afternoon, the National Selection Panel expressed its “extreme, satisfaction” with embattled batsman, Shaun Marsh despite the news of his injured back.
“Look, we couldn’t be happier with Shaun’s performance in this first Test,” interim Chairman Trevor Hohns said.
“He was picked on the back of some really promising performances in the 2015/16 Big Bash, and while I may be jumping the gun a bit here, I think it’s safe to say that he’s more than justified his selection.
When a confused journalist from The Roar asked how they could be happy with an innings that hasn’t even occurred yet and the fact Marsh is under an injury cloud, a disgruntled Hohns replied,
“Mate, if we’re suddenly going to start picking players based on actual fitness and performances that have already happened then we may as well throw our entire selection policy out the window.
“We prefer to look forwards not backwards.
“Tim Paine hasn’t scored a first-class century in a decade – so what? You want us to not pick him just based on that!? He’s the future of Australian cricket.”
“But he’s almost 33,” a journalist shot back.
“With that baby face? Please!” Hohns laughed.
“Now you’re the one who’s got to check their facts.”
When the subject returned to Marsh again, Mark Waugh bristled.
“I’ve had it with you media types, always piling on the Marshes.”
“You’re speaking about a man who’s played 23 Test matches for his country, AND he’s recalled eight times. You don’t get brought back into a national team that many times unless you’re something really special.
“In fact, Shaun’s performances have shone so brightly, you could say they’ve completely blinded us on the selection panel.
When pressed on his injury, Steve’s brother explained, “whether he plays or doesn’t is irrelevant – either way we’re thrilled with how he went. Lock him in for the second Test.”
The first Ashes Test begins 10am local time at The Gabba. Keep an eye on the site for Australia’s best live blog, expert analysis and video highlights.