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Massage therapist Baldwin steps in for injured Starc

Grant Baldwin, Australia's massage therapist, took the field for Mitchell Starc Getty Images

Australia's decision to hand substitute fielding duties to Grant Baldwin, the team's massage therapist, has been a subject of criticism over the first two days of the day-night Test in Adelaide. His performance was scrutinised by television commentators after a couple of fumbles in the field.

At the end of the second day, Australia said they would not use Baldwin as a fielder any more and had drafted in South Australia's Sam Raphael for substitute duties.

Baldwin, 28, is also the assistant to the Australian team manager, Gavin Dovey, and replaced the injured Mitchell Starc midway through the second session on the opening day of the Adelaide Test. Baldwin had played for Victoria's second XI between 2006 and 2008, and is a regular participant in Australia's fielding sessions at the nets.

The decision to use Baldwin was made after both James Pattinson and Steven O'Keefe were released from the Test squad to play for their respective states and, with a full round of Sheffield Shield matches taking place, Australia were left with the choice of fielding a current state second XI player, or drafting in Baldwin.

Three local cricketers, none of whom have first-class experience, were available but the Australians were concerned the pressure of fielding in this Test may have been too much for inexperienced players. The fact Baldwin was already with the team and considered capable of doing the job were the deciding factors.

"Grant's played second XI cricket for Victoria and he's fielded for us before on tours," said Josh Hazlewood after the second day. "We've got three young guys here who haven't played first-class cricket, I think we're getting a guy in tomorrow who has played for SA, so it'll be good to get him out there. We thought Grant was probably the best option. It's quite a pressure situation out there in front of 40,000, so with those other three guys not playing first-class cricket before, we thought it was the best case."