Australia news February 17, 2012

Mitchell Marsh sidelined by back injury


The emerging allrounder Mitchell Marsh has suffered a major setback after being told he must not bowl for the rest of this season due to a stress injury in his back. As a result, Marsh will not play in the remainder of the Commonwealth Bank Series but his time-frame for a comeback won't be determined until he has scans in Melbourne on Saturday.

Marsh, 20, has been part of Australia's squad throughout the tri-series but could not oust his fellow allrounder Daniel Christian from the side. After a lengthy spell in the SCG nets on Thursday, ahead of Friday's match against Sri Lanka, Marsh told the team physio Alex Kountouris of pain in his back and scans revealed the problem.

"Mitch complained of quite significant lower-back pain during yesterday's training session at the SCG," Kountouris said. "After assessing him and considering his age we organised scans in Sydney last night that have confirmed our suspicions of a lower-back bone stress injury. "He will have further scans tomorrow in Melbourne to determine the extent of the injury, which will help outline the period of rest required from cricket. We expect that he will not play as a bowler for the remainder of this season but will be in a position to provide further information once we have the results of tomorrow's scans."

Michael Clarke will not return to the squad for the next CB Series fixture, against India in Brisbane on February 19, as he has not yet fully recovered from a right hamstring injury. George Bailey, the Tasmania batsman, has been added to the squad as a standby batsman. Ricky Ponting will continue to captain the team in Clarke's absence.

Victorian spinner Jon Holland, who was called up as backup for Xavier Doherty, will remain in the squad, though Doherty recovered from back spasms to play against Sri Lanka in Sydney on February 17.

Clarke, who missed the game against Sri Lanka with a grade one hamstring strain, had initially said he hoped to be back for the Brisbane match, but will sit it out on advice from Kountouris. "Michael Clarke is progressing well in his recovery from a right hamstring injury but remains unavailable for selection in Brisbane," Kountouris said. "His availability for the ODI in Hobart will be determined early next week."

Bailey had captained Australia in the Twenty20s against India, without having played a game for Australia before, and has now been earmarked for a spot in the one-day team. "This selection is recognition that the national selection panel consider George the next batsman in line for Australian one-day selection," Mickey Arthur, Australia coach and member of the selection panel, said.

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

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  • Meety on February 20, 2012, 0:47 GMT

    @anshu.s - Mitch Marsh will probably play domestically as a specialist batsmen - but he is way short of a decent record for International duty.

  • anshu.s on February 18, 2012, 12:15 GMT

    Mitchell Marsh played this season's Big Bash mainly as a batter anyway so why not play him as a speacilist batter unless selector feel that he is good only in an allround package .

  • Meety on February 18, 2012, 11:50 GMT

    More freakin injuries. Until proven otherwise I think it is a case of players playing in too many different formats. The only other thing that it could be is that bowlers don't bowl enough FC overs. Maybe it could be too much weight training, but my money is on players playing too many formats. IMO get some specialists for different formats & go from there. The shorter formats mean that the players warm up more cool down & head to the next game (by plane). Pre-T20 players played double headers more, (there was also the old Adelaide Oz Day weekend triple headers), it meant less travel, nowadays with T20 comps running, players can be criss crossing the country (globe), fro 3 or 4 games a week. No real recovery time spent in a plane. We need to spread the burden across more players.

  • zenboomerang on February 18, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    @susie2112... The Vice Captain takes over for Bailey though don't know who that is - Ed Cowan maybe?... Wells becomes part of the 11 & Bailey will probably fly back & play again on Monday - depending on whether Wells is batting or not... Really dumb way to run things... The selectors should have had this organized on Thursday...

  • susie2112 on February 18, 2012, 4:19 GMT

    Could someone please explain what happens with the Tas vs Qld Shield match if George Bailey is released for Sunday's ODI? I assume he can be replaced & who'll takeover as captain of Tas? Thanks.

  • dummy4fb on February 17, 2012, 16:06 GMT

    Just a thought Cowan to open in both test and one days. Team would ideally read Wade, Cowan, Clark, Bailey, Warner, Hussey/Ferguson, D. Hussey, Christian/Watson, Pattinson, McKay, Doherty. The 14th player in the squad would be Lee and you would drop a batsmen for him.

  • dummy4fb on February 17, 2012, 15:51 GMT

    Those marsh boys are too fragile.

  • johntycodes on February 17, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    Bailey should have been in the team ahead of forrest who is a 4 day player.

  • Bruisers on February 17, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    @AidanFX - Perfectly well said mate.. We don't see the same kind of Aussie side these days that we saw just a few years ago.. PATHETIC SELECTION has ended the glorious 'World Domination Era' of the Aussies.......

  • Winsome on February 17, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    He's bowled a fair bit in Shield this year, one of the best averages and sr in the comp. This has been coming as he has mentioned back pain in the past couple of months. Now he can go back to Shield and hopefully concentrate on his batting. He really needs to.

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