Australia v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI, Sydney November 4, 2010

Ferguson replaces injured Marsh in ODI squad

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Callum Fergsuon will join Australia's one-day international squad ahead of Friday's second match in Sydney after Shaun Marsh was ruled out due to a back injury. Marsh made 31 in Australia's one-wicket loss at the MCG on Wednesday, but he did not take the field at all during Sri Lanka's innings and will miss the remaining two games in the series.

"Shaun Marsh injured his lower back in the latter part of his batting innings yesterday against Sri Lanka," the team physio Alex Kountouris said. "With the short turnaround between games in this series it was decided that the best management of this injury is to withdraw him from the remaining two games to allow him time to recover. His return to cricket will be based on his recovery over the next few days."

Marsh has had back troubles before, and a similar problem sidelined him for Australia's one-day tour of New Zealand earlier this year. His latest niggle has opened the door for Ferguson, who was in the ODI squad in India last month but did not play a game, and is still waiting for his first appearance in Australian colours since seriously injuring his knee in the Champions Trophy final in October 2009.

"Callum has been in extremely good form of late for South Australia in interstate cricket and has a very good one-day international record for Australia, averaging 46 with the bat, so we know he can perform well on a big stage," the chairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch, said. Ferguson was due to link up with the squad in Sydney on Thursday, but his chances of playing on Friday are slim.

Ricky Ponting will be back in the side having missed Wednesday's game to attend his grandmother's funeral, and Marsh would have been the likely man to make way for Ponting. The Australians haven't got much time to turn around their form after losing a match they should have won comfortably at the MCG, and the coach Tim Nielsen said the players had a frank discussion after Sri Lanka's triumph.

"The most important thing is that we don't run away from it, we identify the things we're doing well and maybe not so well," Nielsen said on the Melbourne radio station SEN. "We had a chat about that as a group last night, while it was very fresh and hitting pretty hard. Rather than just walk away and say 'we got close', we sat down and were pretty honest with each other about how we're going and what we're doing.

"We just have to make sure that we don't panic. There's going to be a lot of speculation, there's going to be a lot of theories and rumours and ideas on how we can get better. We just can't afford to keep doing the same things like we did last night. We kept bowling bouncers that were chest high rather than head high, we bowled a few wides, we bowled a few slower balls that we didn't land properly, and we didn't really do anything out of the ordinary or different to what we'd been doing all night."

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  • frosty001 on November 5, 2010, 8:58 GMT

    Australia...what the hell are you doing. Here we have the one bright spot in the losing team from Wednesday night..the "X Man" Doherty left out of the side today. Unbelievable. A debut player does great and then is left out of the next game. Well that IS great for his confidence. I think MR. Hilditch and his co conspirators really need to come out and explain some of their selection decisions. No doubt they are on a salary, so they should also be performance based. And right now, some of their selection decisions are even worse than the form of the Aussies. How about giving Warner free rein at the top of the order, the Doherty/ Smith combo looks good. Bring Brett Lee back to give the bowlers some guidance, and if Tait is fit, let him blast a few out. Aussie cricket CAN get back, but only with the right people at the helm.

  • Marcio on November 5, 2010, 2:47 GMT

    It should be a fascinating game. Ricky is back for Oz, and boy, will he be p.ssed! He might not be a tactical genius, but he has real mongrel in him, which was really lacking in the last game. As others have pointed out, Clarke really looked demoralised and defeated when the SLers still had 40 runs to get! That was something I haven't seen in an Australian captain for decades. You'd probably have to go back to Kim Hughes (am I the only one who sees the similarities? The only difference is that it is the Australian public crying this time). Nice guy pretty boys are not what you need in international sport. I have nothing against Clarke. Definite very good test player, handy but limited 50 over player, but just doesn't have it for T20. As for SL, I think they might struggle today. I have seen miracle wins like this last game in many sports, and the miracle team almost always gets spanked in the next game. It's to do with expectation and a relaxation of attitude. Let's see if I'm right.

  • indianzen on November 5, 2010, 2:09 GMT

    Too late.. Ferguson must have been in the playing XI, I would say he can become the next mike beaven. Beaven was too good,he can play aggressive,play strokes, single every ball and a china man bowler...

  • MinusZero on November 5, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    Most badly performing sporting teams end in the same way. The coach is sacked. Why not with Aussie cricket? Why is Neilsen not accountable for bad performances? The selectors should also be replaced.

  • Ozcricketwriter on November 5, 2010, 1:44 GMT

    My XI: Shane Watson, David Warner, Cameron White (c), Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade (wk), John Hastings, Clint McKay, Brett Lee, Xavier Doherty

    The further we are off that team, the weaker the team is.

  • SSJumbo123 on November 5, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    Hey Fan84, have you seem tour lover boy Tait bowl in slow-motion...., well, he CHUCKS. Don't believe me, go check it out!!

  • deckker9 on November 5, 2010, 0:43 GMT

    This rampant over-enthusiasm with Ferguson... a sorry case of fellas jumping on the bandwagon, I am sad to say it is misplaced. Don't get your hopes up too high, lest you'll be eating your words at the dead of nigh'. Mark these words fellas. Don't say the naysayer stayed mum.

  • dummy4fb on November 5, 2010, 0:21 GMT

    @ Aaron...where is your keeper mate?

  • Biggus on November 4, 2010, 23:58 GMT

    @Fan84-Don't shed too many tears for us mate, as much as I appreciate your support. Australia have been down before. This slump is really nothing compared to our troubles during the Packer cricket era and we will rise again. In Australia the phrase "one day the rooster-the next the feather duster" comes to mind. Regarding Tait, Akhtar and Lee-you must have missed the '70s my friend. Super-fast bowlers were everywhere back then. Jeff Thomson, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Dennis Lillee (before his back injury) and others were all bowling around the 100mph/160kmh speeds that are regarded as extraordinary today. And no helmets! No limits on bouncers per over! I have to tell you it was pretty gladiatorial stuff! Thanks for the support though, but he who is up now will one day be down and visa versa. It's all in the game and in the interests of cricket overall.

  • Fan84 on November 4, 2010, 21:12 GMT

    Iam NOT SURE ,, WHAT THE AUSSIE SELECTORS ARE DOING.. Try to persuade GREAT TAIT. LEE and WARNER to be BACK IN THE ODI side, before THE PEOPLE BLAME MY BELOVED RICKY (thogh he could do nothing with the fragile team) for the series loss,, ITS A DELIGHT TO SEE WARNER / WATSON opening and LEE, TAIT , JOHNSON ,SIDDLE attacking.. TAIT ,, U R SO GREAT MAN,, when others find so difficult to bowl at 140kmphs,, u bowl CONSISTENTLY at 156 KMph,, the world has seen great bowlers liek u only thrice,, AKTHAR / BRET LEE. And U ,, Pls bring back the LOST PRIDE TO OZ man,, iam an INDIAN,, its unbearble to see the legends declining,, and don't blame PONTING ,,,pls

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