Australia considering back-up after Marsh injury

Jose Verdugo
Marcha 13, 2018

Australia were restricted to 243 in the first innings at St. George's Park and were bowled out for 239 in the second to give the Proteas an easy victory chase of 101 to level the series at 1-1.

Mitch Marsh has suffered a groin strain in Port Elizabeth, with the allrounder now racing the clock to be fit for Australia's third Test against South Africa.

But the SA bowler will miss the rest of the series after being slapped with a two-Test ban.

Marsh has been the tourists' best performer so far in the four-Test series, snaring a couple of key wickets and producing a match-winning knock of 96 in Durban.

The four-Test series continues in Cape Town on Thursday week.

"Mitchell Marsh probably deserved a hundred in the first test to be fair, but if we're getting batters scoring big hundreds it certainly helps us out a hell of a lot".

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Peter Handscomb is the reserve batsman in the squad but selectors may opt to summon a like-for-like cover player for Marsh, such as Marcus Stoinis.

Smith has scored only one ton against South Africa - an even 100 in his first match at Centurion in 2014 - and only three fifties in 14 innings against the same opponents since.

"He's got a bit of a groin strain, so he was struggling to move a little bit", Steve Smith said.

"It's a good break between now and the next Test match and he's telling me he'll be fine, but we'll wait and see how things go".

"All the quicks are going really well".

Smith suggested Marsh's setback is the only injury concern, with Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins all fit and firing. "I was told at the break that he can actually run, so unfortunately he could've been out on the field when he was in the slips, but still should've taken that catch but everyone drops it every now and again, I've been pretty guilty myself in recent times. I haven't heard today, but before today they were all feeling fine, so hopefully with a good 10-day break they can freshen up a little bit".

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