Ashton Turner has been included in Australia’s One-Day International squad against India as a cover for Mitchell Marsh ahead of the first ODI at Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday (January 12). Marsh is suffering from gastritis and has spent the last two days in hospital. Coach Justin Langer confirmed Marsh will not play in the first ODI and will be monitored ahead of the final two matches in Adelaide (January 15) and Melbourne (January 18).
Langer said Turner’s ability to finish off an innings with the bat and his ability to create pressure with quick running between the wickets were what got him the nod. “I remember when Mike Hussey came into Australian cricket, the thing that almost got him a shot in the one-day side was his running between his wickets,” Langer was quoted as saying on cricket.com.au. “That might sound like the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard but you watch Ashton Turner, the way he runs between wickets is unbelievable. He’s such a great athlete, it puts so much pressure (on the opposition).”
“One of the hallmarks of great Australian teams, you think about Dean Jones and Michael Bevan and Michael Hussey, is the running between (wickets). It’s a basic (skill) but we’ve also been talking about getting players who can finish off innings and he’s shown that in what we can go off in Big Bash cricket, he’s in great form.”
— KFC Big Bash League (@BBL) 9 January 2019
“He can finish the innings off well, an elite athlete in the field and he’s also a captain. You see the way he finishes off an innings that he’s a good thinker of the game like most of the great finishes and a really good leader, good person around the group. Very excited to see him come in.”
Turner, a middle-order batsman and an occasional off spin bowler, has played three T20Is for Australia – with all three coming in the series against Sri Lanka in February 2017. With the majority of the senior players in India in preparation for the Test series, Australia went on to lose the T20I series 2-1 and Turner went off radar.
Turner, captain of Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League, has been among the runs this season. He has scores of 60*, 47 and 43* in his last three innings, with the latest coming in Scorchers’ second win of the season against Melbourne Stars on Wednesday.
It has been a rough week for Marsh, who before falling ill was dropped from the Test squad to face Sri Lanka. Langer said it was a tough decision to make given the close relationship with the Marsh family. “I’ve known them since they were kids, Geoff Marsh (Mitch’s father) is one of my best friends, which makes it hard,” he said. “He’s also been a coach with West Australian cricket.”
“But at the end of the day we all know, the boys know and ‘Swampy’ (Geoff Marsh) knows that this is a tough business and if you’re not performing you don’t get selected. And that’s how that decision came about.”
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj