Starc, Marsh passed fit for third Test

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    Australia have named an unchanged XI for the third Test, with Mitchell Starc and Mitch Marsh both passed fit in Cape Town.

    Starc (sore calf) and Marsh (groin strain) were on restricted duties during the tourists’ first session at Newlands.

    But the pair trained well on Tuesday and team medicos are confident they’re right to go for the crunch clash that starts on Thursday.

    “They’ll be OK,” Steve Smith said on Wednesday.

    “They both had a really good hit-out yesterday. Obviously, we had 10 days between Test matches, which is a good break for them.

    “They feel really good, so no concerns there.”

    Starc terrorised teammates in the nets on Tuesday, proving his fitness while unleashing a bounce barrage at David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

    Marsh also bowled on Tuesday. The allrounder is expected to bowl if required during the third Test.

    Smith detailed concerns about the process that led to Kagiso Rabada’s two-Test ban being overturned, but insisted the saga would not serve as a distraction for the tourists.

    “We were planning both ways anyway. It didn’t bother us. He’s back playing now. He’s a world-class bowler and for us it’s about trying to negate the impact he’s had in the first couple of games,” Smith said.

    “If we can do that hopefully it will take us a long way to winning this game.”

    Smith, desperate to take a 2-1 lead in the spiteful four-Test series, called on Australia’s top order – himself included – to stand up after a six-wicket loss in Port Elizabeth.

    “We haven’t had someone go on and score a hundred. That’s really big for us,” he said.

    “If we can get someone, in the top four ideally, to go on and make a big score that will help set the game up for us.

    “It hasn’t been good enough in the first two games and we want to turn that around.”

    © AAP 2018

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