Australia name Mitchell Marsh in squad ahead of Perth Test

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Australia name Mitchell Marsh in squad ahead of Perth Test

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SportsCafe Desk


Australia have, surprisingly, included Mitchell Marsh in the 13-man squad for the third Test, which is to be held in Perth, when the hosts have a chance of sealing the series and securing the urn. The 26-year-old is the only change from the last game and will replace South Australia’s Chadd Sayers.

The last time Mitchell Marsh played for the Baggy Green was back in January this year during Australia’s tour to India. However, his poor displays and inability to cement a place as a No. 6 batsman in that series led the management to eventually bench him. His inclusion in place of Sayers was the only change Australia have made in the third Test.

On Marsh's return to the Sheffield Shield, he has taken two wickets, which is believed to have triggered his selection in the national side again. The 26-year-old has 29 wickets in 21 Tests so far at an average of 37.48 while also aggregating 674 runs at an average of 21.74 with the bat. Though his position in the first eleven remains unlikely, selectors are reportedly considering him at the expense of middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb. Despite averaging more than 47 runs in the longest format, Handscomb has scored just 14 in Brisbane, and 36 and 12 in Adelaide.

Perth has been increasingly batting friendly of late, which is also said to be a reason for the side selecting the medium pacer who would offer back-up to the spearheading quick trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. His medium pace bowling style is also a big reason for his selection over the JLT Sheffield Shield's leading run-scorer, Glenn Maxwell.

Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie had previously tipped Marsh's recall on the basis that a fourth bowler could be if support for the front-line quicks.

"I said after the first two Test matches the Australians will maybe add someone to their squad, possibly an allrounder because they'll feel the surfaces in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney are three very good batting surfaces," Gillespie had told Optus Sport's Stumps program even before the squad was confirmed.

"And the three big hairy quicks are going to need a little bit of support. So don't be surprised if a Mitchell Marsh or that type player comes into the equation."

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