Aus­tralian Marsh out of sec­ond test

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Aus­tralia will need a new open­ing part­ner­ship when they look to turn around their for­tunes in the sec­ond test against South Africa af­ter Shaun Marsh was ruled out with a bro­ken fin­ger yes­ter­day.

Cricket Aus­tralia an­nounced af­ter Aus­tralia had lost by 177 runs at the WACA that Marsh would re­quire surgery on the digit and Joe Burns and Cal­lum Fer­gu­son would join the squad for the Ho­bart test, which starts on Satur­day.

Burns will al­most cer­tainly re­place Marsh in the open­ing part­ner­ship with David Warner, while Fer­gu­son has been called up as po­ten­tial cover for mid­dle or­der bats­man Adam Vo­ges, who has suf­fered a ham­string in­jury.

Aus­tralia are per­haps for­tu­nate that there is such a short gap be­tween tests given the navel-gaz­ing that is likely to fol­low their first de­feat in the open­ing test of a home Sum­mer for 28 years.

Captain Steve Smith had plenty of food for thought af­ter Aus­tralia, hav­ing bowled out South Africa for 242 on day one, lost 10 wick­ets for 86 runs on day two to crash from 158 with­out loss to 244 all out.

“We weren’t able to cap­i­talise from there and they were able to claw their way back,” Smith said. “It’s ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing, we’ve had a few col­lapses in re­cent matches when we’ve had a chance to re­ally drive the game so it’s some­thing we’ve got to look at and some­thing we’ve got to try and im­prove on. “We need to try and let this per­for­mance go and come out in Ho­bart and try and turn it around. We’re go­ing to have to play bet­ter cricket against a qual­ity South African team if we’re go­ing to do it.” There had al­ready been some raised eye­brows when, clearly head­ing for de­feat, Aus­tralia an­nounced on Sun­day they would be tak­ing the same 12-man squad to Ho­bart.

That left them with the sin­gle op­tion of bringing in un­capped seamer Joe Men­nie, pre­sum­ably for Peter Sid­dle, if they wanted to change their line-up.

That changed with Marsh’s in­jury but it is the mid­dle, not top or­der bat­ting, that has most let Aus­tralia down and all­rounder Mitch Marsh, who took 2-100 and scored 26 runs in Perth, is per­haps for­tu­nate not have been dropped.

Aus­tralia have now lost their last four tests af­ter a 3-0 sweep in Sri Lanka in July and Au­gust and an­other de­feat at home in Ho­bart is sure to trig­ger a full-blown cri­sis.

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