December 20, 2014 10:58:14 pm
Injuries worries to in-form opener David Warner and all-rounder Mitch Marsh may affect Australia’s plans for the third cricket Test which gets underway at Melbourne on Boxing Day.
Warner, who had cracked twin centuries in the first Test, was hit at the thumb by a rising delivery from India’s pacer Umesh Yadav in their second innings.
According to the medical staff, Warner’s injury is not serious but they will keep a watch on him in the coming days.
However, Marsh, who suffered a hamstring injury during the match, is likely to be ruled out of the third Test. But Australia is expected to have the services of Ryan Harris, who was ruled out of the second Test after he picked up a slight quad strain after the first Test.
The injury worries, however, have forced the selectors to wear their thinking cap and perhaps consider bringing in reinforcements for the Boxing day Test.
“I haven’t spoken to Davey yet but he’s a tough little character so I’m sure he will be eager to get stuck in on Boxing Day,” captain Steve Smith was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald.
“Mitch Marsh was struggling a bit with his running so I think the physio will have a look at him over the next couple of days and make a decision.”
With Marsh likely to be absent from the Boxing Day Test squad, selectors will now have to decide whether to get an all-rounder or a specialist batsman in his place when they announce the team on Sunday.
The selectors will have a few options in James Faulkner, who is an alternative all-rounder. Besides him, there is Ed Cowan and Adam Voges, with four and three centuries under their belt respectively in the first half of the Sheffield Shield season.
South Australian batsman Callum Ferguson, who has a season average of 54 in the shield with two hundreds, is another good option.
Watson, who has been awfully out of form at the top of the order, will feel the heat as he scored only 72 runs at 18 in the series so far.
Though he failed with the bat, Watson did contributed with the ball and selectors won’t want to make any radical change in the playing XI.
“He built some outstanding pressure throughout the game,” Smith said.
“With a ball that’s doing a little bit he hits outstanding areas.”
Recovering from his groin strain, Harris said he was on track for the third Test.
“Going well, it was only a slight strain of the quad but I’ve done some good rehab over the last few days,” he said.
“I did a good run last night after play and there’s no pain there so it’s looking up. I’m pretty keen to play. I’m frustrated watching, Boxing Day is definitely on the cards.”
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