Uncertainty over Shaun Marsh’s badly broken finger has ensured that Australia’s revamped Test squad was retained for the first Test against Pakistan at the Gabba.
The selectors had made sweeping changes after Australia’s crushing defeat in Hobart, where South Africa secured the series, and only six of the XI from that Test retained their places for the day-night Test in Adelaide. Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddinson all made their debuts in Adelaide, where Australia picked up a consolation victory. Maddinson, who made 80 in a Sheffield Shield match for New South Wales this week, was thought he man most likely to make way in the event of Marsh returning to fitness. However Marsh was not considered as he continues rehabilitation after a broken finger suffered against South Africa in Perth.
“Shaun has yet to resume batting and will have a follow-up x-ray this week that will be reviewed by a specialist,” the CA head of sports science Alex Kountouris said. “This will determine when he can resume cricket training.” It is believed that Marsh’s finger injury, a re-break suffered during the first Test after he initially fractured it in Sri Lanka, is of a more serious nature than initially thought. Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann conceded that Marsh would now need to prove his fitness via the Big Bash League – either for the Pakistan series or the tour of India next year, for which he is considered a vital component given a sound batting method against spin. “Fingers crossed. Hopefully he’ll be batting soon, the specialist will be seeing him this week and hopefully that goes well and he starts batting again,” Lehmann said. “He’s only got BBL to play. Agencies