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Mitch Marsh called into Ashes Test squad


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    Mitch Marsh has been rushed into Australia’s 13-man squad for the third Ashes Test, with the allrounder in the mix to play alongside his brother on their home deck.

    National selectors, swayed by Marsh’s form with the bat and recent return to bowling, have called Western Australia’s captain into camp ahead of Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis.

    It’s the only change to the squad named for the first two Tests against England, with Marsh replacing Chadd Sayers ahead of the WACA Test that starts next Thursday.

    There is every chance the hosts will name an unchanged XI as they seek to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series.

    However Peter Handscomb has passed 50 in one of his nine first-class knocks since the start of summer. If the Perth pitch is flat he could be axed in favour of Marsh.

    Mitch Marsh has played seven Tests alongside brother Shaun, the most recent in India earlier this year.

    He returned home after the second Test of that tour, undergoing a shoulder reconstruction.

    The 26-year-old, appointed captain of his state during the off-season, resumed bowling off a long run last month and scored 141 in a Sheffield Shield game at the WACA.

    Selectors have made no secret of the fact they’d like to squeeze an allrounder into their XI, worried about the workload of frontline quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

    “At the moment it’s OK (without an allrounder) but you certainly look at it,” coach Darren Lehmann said last week.

    “They’re just handy when you have that long second innings … and if you get an injury during the game.

    “We rate him (Mitch Marsh) highly and his output with the bat’s been really impressive this summer.”

    Marsh has struggled with the bat in 21 Tests – passing 50 twice and averaging 21.74 – but looked a different beast at domestic level in recent months.

    “I was under a lot of pressure with my cricket (before I got injured),” he said a week ago.

    “I had a bit of time away. I got my body right. I worked with my batting coach Scott Meuleman over a six-month period and I’ve learned a few things.

    “I’m ready to go as an allrounder.”

    Australia’s 13-man squad for third Test: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith (capt), Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • December 7th 2017 @ 2:33am
      TheCunningLinguistic said | December 7th 2017 @ 2:33am | ! Report

      I suspect the forum will melt down with this announcement, so I just wanted to be first to comment. Welcome back, MM!!

      • December 7th 2017 @ 9:33am
        Damo said | December 7th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

        I’ve got my popcorn ready!

      • December 7th 2017 @ 11:04am
        Stuart Bywater said | December 7th 2017 @ 11:04am | ! Report

        Australia’s search for an allrounder may be superfluous.
        Billy Beane, in the book “Moneyball”, replaced players with other players’ aggregate abilities. Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins’ aggregate batting is arguably enough to suggest that Australia has an aggregate all rounder in them. Two half all rounders if you will.
        In this Ashes series Cummins averages 48.5 and Starc 10.67. Of course three innings is far too small a sample size.

        Cummins averages 25.87 in 7 Tests (11 innings) and 27.31 in 17 first class matches (30 innings). His first class record this season is 133 runs scored at 44.33 in 5 innings.

        Starc averages 23.89 in 38 Tests (58 innings) and 23.94 in 74 first class matches (95 innings). His first class record this season is 112 runs scored at 22.40 in 6 innings. [Of course Starc is only the second best bat in his family, his wife Alyssa has a Test average of 32.5].

        Mitchell Marsh offers 21.74 with the bat and a whopping 37.48 with the ball in Tests. (The virtual opposite of Keith Miller’s Test averages.) MM has an economy of 3.43 in Tests. In FC cricket his averages improve to 30.07 and 28.92. This season in Sheffield Shield, Marsh has averages 44.66 batting and 48 with the ball. He has 2 scores over 50.

        Marsh ranks sixth on the total runs scored in SS this season well behind Maxwell, Ferguson and Burns. MM ranks seventh in batting averages of those who have played in all five SS rounds, again well behind Maxwell, Ferguson and Burns. His figures do not support his selection as a batter.

        Jackson Bird is the standout bowler in SS this season: 25 wickets at 16.56 in eight innings. His figures against WA this season are 4/61, 19, 2/85, 1 . Tremain, Boland, Bell and Rainbird also have returned bowling figures much stronger than MM. MM figures do not support his selection as a bowler.

        MM is a FC all rounder but his career figures do not support his selection as a batter, bowler or all rounder. Currently the best non Test batsman is Maxwell followed by Ferguson. The best non Test bowlers are named above although Sayers could be included. Australia arguably does not need an allrounder given the aggregate batting of Starc and Cummins.

        MM appears to have been selected for subjective reasons rather than on objective evidence. MM figures do not support his selection as a batter, bowler or allrounder.

        • December 7th 2017 @ 2:31pm
          George said | December 7th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

          Well said. He is a joke selection.

    • December 7th 2017 @ 8:48am
      scottyridge said | December 7th 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

      Glenn Maxwell?????

      • December 7th 2017 @ 3:19pm
        Brian said | December 7th 2017 @ 3:19pm | ! Report

        Sorry buddy, his 70+ batting average this shield season means nothing when he’s not from WA.

    • December 7th 2017 @ 10:49am
      Craig said | December 7th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

      Cummins and Starc are both decent with the bat. I wouldn’t be opposed to picking a Sayers or someone if they wanted an extra bowler, particularly for the WACA.

      Any other ground, really, it should be Maxwell over Handscomb.

    • Roar Rookie

      December 7th 2017 @ 11:03am
      Bunney said | December 7th 2017 @ 11:03am | ! Report

      What more does Maxwell have to do I wonder??

      • Roar Rookie

        December 7th 2017 @ 12:53pm
        Dogs Boddy said | December 7th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

        Change his last name to Marsh.

      • December 7th 2017 @ 1:13pm
        Ben said | December 7th 2017 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

        Start bowling medium pace.

    • December 7th 2017 @ 3:16pm
      Brian said | December 7th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

      I’ve come to accept that MMarsh will play at least 50 tests, no matter how bad his batting average gets. He could slip down to sub 20 with the bat and they’d still manage to keep him in the side, especially if JL comes in as the next coach (god help us all if that happens).

      I don’t wish injuries on players, but the only way this plank is getting dislodged from the once vaunted baggy green is a career threatening one.

    • December 7th 2017 @ 8:38pm
      Larry Logical said | December 7th 2017 @ 8:38pm | ! Report

      Mitch Marsh had his chances in the past but he has been man of the match in one test so he can deliver. He is having a pretty good season in Sheffield Shield but it is too early because (a) he has only just come back as a bowler and (b) he needs a solid season or 2 batting with consistency.

      If Australia do go with M Marsh to deal with the predicted flat WACA scenario the below changes would do the job.

      Maxwell who bowls pies OK for 1 day but not tests gets selection as a batsmen only (replace Handscomb).

      Bancroft replace Paine who has been good. Bancroft would add depth to batting as keeper/batsman.

      M Marsh comes in as 5th bowler/allrounder

      S Marsh
      Bancroft (K)
      M Marsh

      • December 7th 2017 @ 9:12pm
        Jameswm said | December 7th 2017 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

        Why move Shaun Marsh out of the middle order?

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