South Africa in Australia 2012-13

Mitchell Marsh loses Australia A spot

Brydon Coverdale

October 26, 2012

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Mitchell Marsh sweeps during his 78, Western Australia v New South Wales, Ryobi Cup, Perth, September 16, 2012
Mitchell Marsh has missed out on the chance to play for Australia A © Getty Images
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The allrounder Mitchell Marsh has missed out on being selected for Australia A because of his behaviour in South Africa over the past week. Marsh was one of several Perth Scorchers players who had a big night out in the lead-up to a must-win Champions League Twenty20 match and he and his brother Shaun were subsequently dropped from the Scorchers' final match of the tournament.

It has also cost Marsh the chance to play against South Africa in a three-day match in Sydney starting next Friday. The Australia A team will be captained by the Victoria allrounder Andrew McDonald, one of four players with Test experience in the side along with Phillip Hughes, Tim Paine and Steven Smith, and while there are plenty of allrounders in the 11-man team, Marsh is not one of them.

"Four or five days ago we had a squad of 15 that we were looking to mould and Mitch was in that," the national selector John Inverarity said. "What's happened in South Africa recently didn't help his cause there. It's up to the WACA to deal with that and they will deal with that appropriately. As soon as that has been dealt with and whatever sanctions they have in mind…when that's finished he'll be very much back on the radar.

"Mitch is a good lad but apparently there was alleged to be an indiscretion there. I'm sure we've all had indiscretions in our time. But he'll come back onto the radar. He's a very good cricketer, a very promising cricketer and a cricketer that Australia needs to develop."

When asked if Marsh's name was taken off the list of 15 specifically because of the events in South Africa, Inverarity said: "Yes, his name was taken off the list because of what's happened recently. Mitch is a lively 21-year-old and a very good cricketer. I feel really confident he will kick on as a young man and as a player. I'm sure he will."

Inverarity, a former Western Australia player, said the incident in South Africa, in which players were believed to be out on the town celebrating Marsh's 21st birthday, was a concern for the culture of cricket in the state.

"There are concerns there, the concerns are fairly widespread, yes," Inverarity said. "We want cricket to have a very healthy culture in all parts of Australia, and I think in WA there need to be some changes and they need to pull up their socks."

Two Western Australia players made the Australia A side, the fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile and the opener Liam Davis. Victoria's prolific opener Rob Quiney was also included, along with the Tasmania batsman Alex Doolan, who made 149 for the Tigers earlier this month against South Australia, followed by a fighting 95 in the ongoing match against Victoria at the MCG.

There was no place for Callum Ferguson, who impressed with a career-best 164 in this week's Sheffield Shield match for South Australia in Adelaide, nor for the Queensland batsman Usman Khawaja. Ferguson's century this week was his first major score in some time, after he averaged 32.40 in the Sheffield Shield last summer.

"We were delighted he made 160-odd the other day, which was terrific, the issue with Callum is consistency," Inverarity said. "We want him to do it again, and again and again. I think Phil Hughes really benefited by having an uninterrupted time at Worcester. He was there, he was settled, he made runs there, and we're looking for Callum staying with SA, batting at No. 4, batting under pressure and getting runs consistently."

There were plenty of allrounders picked in the 11-man group, including Smith, Moises Henriques and Glenn Maxwell. The new ball will be shared by Coulter-Nile and John Hastings, while other fast men including Jackson Bird and Luke Butterworth were overlooked.

The team will play the South Africans in Sydney ahead of the first Test, although the Australia A players cannot force their way into the Test side with performances in this match, for the Test squad will be announced on Monday.

"The national selection panel does not intend, at the moment, to include any of the players in this Australia A team in the squad for the first Test," Inverarity said. "Phillip Hughes, Rob Quiney, Liam Davis and Alex Doolan are four top-order batsmen who have played well recently and will have an opportunity to impress against the formidable South African pace attack.

"Rob Quiney has been very close to receiving recognition for some time and his sound technique and equable temperament should serve him well as an opener. Phillip Hughes has been in pleasing form and showing the benefits of his four month uninterrupted spell with Worcestershire and settling in well with his new team, South Australia.

"Andrew McDonald, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques and Alex Doolan have been in sparkling form recently. Following the unfortunate shoulder injury to Jon Holland, Glenn Maxwell has been given the responsibility of being the team's sole spinner. The NSP is very keen for him to develop as a genuine allrounder.

"John Hastings has made a splendid return from injury, as has Tim Paine, and John will share the new ball with Nathan Coulter-Nile, who impressed with Australia A in England a few months ago, as did Davis. They will be supported by the medium pace of McDonald and Henriques."

Australia A squad Phillip Hughes, Rob Quiney, Liam Davis, Alex Doolan, Andrew McDonald (capt), Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, John Hastings, Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by   on (October 28, 2012, 5:28 GMT)

Moises Henriques, here is some1 i want to see in the aussie ODI team.. this guy is way better than Dan Christian, Cameron White...

Posted by   on (October 27, 2012, 12:30 GMT)

Australia is rolling out the welcome mat with this attack. The subtext is :-Don't expect to get any meaningful batting practice ahead of the first test. Good tactics by Aus.

Posted by D-Train on (October 27, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

Seems like the selectors believe that playing in the next round of the Sheffield Shield is more important that a practice match. They've loaded the team with batsmen to see if there's anybody capable of putting their hand up for international selection. The state of our batting at the moment means there is definitely a spot available for guys who are putting in good performances.

Posted by ygkd on (October 27, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

Rob Quiney is one who didn't receive truckloads of opportunities as a youngster, but he's kept on, kept his head down and he's getting one now. Good on him. You don't have to be a particular fan of his to realise what he's had to do to get this far.

Posted by Wozza-CY on (October 27, 2012, 7:48 GMT)

I find this a bit of a strange squad. I feel as though Burns & Butterworth deserved a crack at international opposition, but support the selections of Hughes & in particular Doolan. Nearly all these bowlers could be considered as 'all rounders' and maybe that's the way modern cricket is going (check out top 15 scorers in SS stats).

Posted by unclefred59 on (October 27, 2012, 5:35 GMT)

it will bee interesting to see how this experimental side goes against the South Africans. CA is just tossing combos of players together to see how they perform under match conditions and to see who has the fire in the belly to play test cricket!

Posted by AidanFX on (October 27, 2012, 3:03 GMT)

I think this squad is decent - but saying we are not selecting some of our best pace bowlers to "protect them from injury" is a ridiculous concept. They run the risk injuring them selves representing their state. In any case, I see no merit to sheltering the players. It does not set a good precedence. I understand the game has changed but the obsession with managing players sometimes get dragged to insane proportions.

Posted by Mary_786 on (October 27, 2012, 1:46 GMT)

@Edwards_A is on the mark, guys players such as Khawaja, Burns and Cutting were not picked as they have a game with NSW at the same time which will be a more important test for them, good performances there are more important. This is not our best A side, far from it and its deliberate on the part of the selectors.

Posted by Beertjie on (October 26, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

Some very strange picks here. I'm with you @VivGilchrist on (October 25 2012, 23:49 PM GMT). Looks too much like one day team. Why Henriques, Maxwell, Ronnie Mac and no pace bowling prospects except NCN. Like you, I can't understand the absence of the 3 you mentioned. Agree with @Antir: "Also it seems that our all-rounders are better at batting than those who are supposed to be batsmen"! I get the point made about the SS matches being played concurrently, but there is also an opposing view echoed by @Abhisek Bharadwaj on (October 26 2012, 03:16 AM GMT) when he speaks of batters being "tested against intl attacks." Yes there are a few of these like Hughes, Davis and Doolan, but why be selective and omit others like Klinger and Khawaja?

Posted by Meety on (October 26, 2012, 21:25 GMT)

@ The_Cube on (October 26 2012, 16:01 PM GMT) - I agree re: FC cricket.His short form stats are very good though. The problem with Mitch is, whilst his FC bowling ave is pretty good with a good S/R - he doesn't bowl much, a bit like Watto. So with Watto - he needs to perform well with the bat to be selected & as you (& others) point out, his batting at the moment is only half as good as it should be to get a Baggy Green. @Andrew Balding - good comments. Probably only semantics - but it really shouldn't be called an A-side. The articles keep referring to Quinney as prolific, but I unfortunately only see a journeyman, I may cop a bit on that one - as he has a lot of supporters.

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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