Australia in South Africa 2011-12

Warner replaces injured Shaun Marsh

Brydon Coverdale in Cape Town

November 13, 2011

Comments: 96 | Text size: A | A

David Warner celebrates reaching his hundred, RCB v NSW, 1st semi-final, CLT20, Bangalore, October 7, 2011
David Warner, who has replaced the injured Shaun Marsh in Australia's squad, has been in inspired form in domestic cricket this season © Associated Press
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Players/Officials: Shaun Marsh | David Warner
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of South Africa
Teams: Australia

Shaun Marsh has been ruled out of the second Test against South Africa and has been replaced in Australia's squad by David Warner. Marsh struggled with a back injury during Australia's humiliating loss in Cape Town, where he suffered the problem while running between the wickets during his first innings of 44.

Warner will join the tour on Monday ahead of the Johannesburg Test, which starts on Thursday, but Usman Khawaja, who is already with the squad, is the likely candidate to replace Marsh at No.3. Cricket Australia confirmed Marsh would fly home after he showed only slow improvement from his back problem.

The injury was so troubling for Marsh that on the second day in Cape Town he was at the team hotel and was not expected to take the field at all. But he refused to stay on the sidelines as Australia collapsed and he batted at No.10, although he was clearly hampered as he walked out to the crease.

"He was in considerable pain and was obviously restricted while batting in the second innings," Alex Kountouris, the team physio, said. He is slowly improving but will return to Australia for further investigation and treatment as he will not recover in time to play the second Test in Johannesburg."

The loss of Marsh is a significant one for Australia after their capitulation for 47 in the second innings at Newlands. Although he has played only three Tests, Marsh has been one of the team's most in-form batsmen, scoring a century on debut in Sri Lanka followed by 81 in his second Test and a pair of half-centuries in Australia's tour match in Potchefstroom.

His absence will be felt, with senior players including Ricky Ponting and Shane Watson struggling for form. Warner scored 148 in last week's Sheffield Shield match against South Australia and has been in irresistible form this year, but it would still take a brave selection panel to include him at the expense of one of the existing squad members.

"David has been in tremendous form for New South Wales in all forms of the game including a recent century for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield competition," Andrew Hilditch, the outgoing chairman of selectors, said. "We are certain that should the opportunity present itself he will be ready to perform at Test level."

Australia were due to train at Newlands on Sunday but rain in Cape Town was complicating their plans. The squad flies to Johannesburg on Monday.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by hashabjp on (November 16, 2011, 15:56 GMT)

People want michael hussey to be removed ...three back to back man of the series award and still people have the audacity to talk about him that way... No player had dominated in such a significant way like Hussey in such a short time... Not even Sachin Tendulkar. Hussey is still the best batsman for australia at the moment.

Posted by hyclass on (November 16, 2011, 8:40 GMT)

In his last 3 -1st class seasons for WA,Marsh managed 4,5 & 4 games for a total of 13 matches.In that time,he made 1058 runs from 25 innings at 48 with 2 100s.Its well short of the number of games he would have played had he been fit. For all those who pushed the Marsh selection barrow,only to see the same injury recur in the middle of only his 3rd Test, that has constantly prevented him from playing more than a bit part for his state,I wonder how you justify this to yourselves.In the same spirit,Warner has little to recommend his selection.He averages 46 for NSW.His recent 100 came against Sth Australia,far & away the weakest Shield side on the diminutive,batsman friendly Bankstown oval.His average is bloated by his Zimbabwe innings for Australia A,again on a flat wicket against a moderate opponent.It is instructive that he averages 6.5 against QLD,24.5 against Tas and 39.25 v WA,the bouncing,swinging and seaming wickets.All his success has come on flat wickets v modest bowling.

Posted by smudgeon on (November 15, 2011, 21:52 GMT)

As an aside, I'm certainly not advocating Dan Christian as a cure-all! Merely that Australia could do with a decent all-rounder to bat in the middle-order and add to the bowling mix. Dan's name was just the first that came to mind. Funny how I didn't even think of Watto, but I guess him moving down the order has been talked to death recently...

Posted by big_al_81 on (November 15, 2011, 10:57 GMT)

It is one of the joys of sport that things that seemed immoveable do eventually shift and so for a Pom it's fascinating to see the soul-searching going on among the Aussies. I don't actually think it's that bad for you really. It's a mental game at the top level and some of the players don't have it so, yes, new ones will be needed but it looks like you've got a few. You really should hold onto the decent win in SL and not worry so much about SA - they're clearly better than you at the moment. SA and England are the 2 best sides by some way but neither of us are yet great. And don't worry about India - they're the most over-rated side there has ever been, essentially because they can't bowl and most Indian fans aren't worried about that! Mr Baker is right, use NZ and India to sort it all out. BTW anyone suggesting Dan Christian is an answer baffles me - In the yawntastic IPL I was amazed to see he'd cost someone a lot yet was playing in a very ordinary way in very ordinary cricket.

Posted by hris on (November 15, 2011, 10:16 GMT)

@landl47. i think u got it right when u said oz just doesnt have good young test match talent. A look at the player avg gives a hint. I see no choice but to pick Warner. Ideally would like to have a more experienced player with 50+ avg, but sadly there isnt. I believe apart from Hughes there isnt a single player with avg of 50 or higher with atleast 20 matches played and if u exclude the really old guys like dussey, chris rogers. u have to go down to 10 matches to find another one -- Warner and 7 matches for Glen Maxwell. As for Cooper- its just been a couple of good matches for him. Ferguson is wasting his talent. Maybe we could look at Cosgrove but he hasnt scored many runs this season either. The situation is really that bad. ODI are not an issue, we got plenty of talent for that. But i think we are set to struggle in test cricket for some time.

Posted by Winsome on (November 15, 2011, 9:47 GMT)

I'm not sure if Callum Ferguson has ever had a Shield season where he has averaged 50. He plays at Adelaide so I think you can forget about him for test cricket.

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 15, 2011, 9:08 GMT)

@SI BAKER . REALLY INDIA IS ONE OF THE TWO WEAKEST SIDES ? EVEN WEAKER THAN SL WHO HAD NOT WIN MATCH AFTER MURALI'S RETIREMENT , AND WHAT ABOUT YOUR SIDE WHO GETS BOWLED OUT FOR 47 . ATLEAST INDIA WERE NEVER BOLWED OUT FOR SUCH A SCORE FOR A LONG TIME ( LAST WAS 76 IN 2008) . YOUR SIDE HAS BEEN BOWLED OUT FOR LESS THAN 100 THRICE IN A YEAR . IF ZAHEER GETS FIT AND ISHANT FIND ITS RHYTHM ON AUS BOUNCY PITCHES THEN READY FOR ANOTHER SERIES DEFEAT FOR SUCCESIVE SEASONS .( AFTER ALL NEXT YEAR YOU HAVE TO COME TO INDIA IN OCT 2012 )

Posted by   on (November 15, 2011, 7:46 GMT)

It may seem a bit out ofcontext as a response to this article...but if Punter scores tons against India and MJ takes wickets at Perth (again India being the opponenets)..are they going to be persisted with.??Indian bowling is infamous in India and renowned globally for bringing back out of form batsmen to form.Ponting really seems to be over(a great career ;although he wants to go to Eng for Ashes2k13 dont think thats good for Aus cricket)...same is the case with MJ..dont know y Aus selectors persist with him tour ater tour(not forgetting the practice match but look at his performance at Newlands..)again at Perth he may bowl Aus to victory in Jan but will that make sure he ll be carried for the next 18 months..(till 2k13)...and this is from india...

Posted by smudgeon on (November 15, 2011, 7:44 GMT)

Si Baker - I like your idea of wholesale changes, but they should have happened for the SL tour (or even blooding test hopefuls for the ODI tour of BD). And they did - sort of - with Hughes, Khawaja, Lyon & Copeland all getting a crack. Johnson & Haddin should be the next to go, I think. However, I think you underestimate India's state. Their bowlers aren't great, but conditions will suit Ishant (if he plays) and Zaheer has proven to be a dangerous prospect, particularly with the old ball. And it wouldn't surprise me if Laxman, Dravid & Sehwag (and that other guy) make mince-meat of our bowlers, and that can be a dangerous time to give young, inexperienced talent a go. No obvious solutions on my part (although Clarke, Harris & Hussey must stay), but you're probably right on the bowling front - any two of Copeland, Cummins or Pattinson (Butterworth too, IMO)should be given a chance, Wade/Paine in for Haddin, and, well, aim for a win but perhaps be prepared for a pummeling!

Posted by   on (November 15, 2011, 7:18 GMT)

Warner, waton, Kawaja, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, haddin, Harris, Lyon, Cummins, Siddle must be the team for 2nd test... And please drop beer, johnson, haddin, hughes from the squad for NZ series.. Bring in Paine, callum, bollinger .. Need a strong team to play against india...

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
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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