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Injury, illness, selection: the ups and downs of Mitchell Marsh

The allrounder faces another period on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury in his first IPL outing

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Mitchell Marsh has been forced out of the IPL with an ankle injury to continue a rollercoaster few years for the allrounder and it leaves him in doubt for the start of the Australian home summer.
March 2017: India tour cut short
Having returned to the Test side after been dropped the previous Australia summer, Marsh was forced out of the tour after the second Test by a long-standing shoulder injury that impacted his bowling too much. "He had the injury through the summer, he was fine when he got here but it just got worse," coach Darren Lehmann said.
December 2017: Prolific Ashes comeback
Marsh returned to the side later the same year for the third Test of the Ashes and produced a career-best 181 on his home ground at the WACA as Australia regained the urn. He followed that with another century at the SCG, brought up with emotional scenes alongside his brother Shaun, and when he started the following tour of South Africa with 96 in Durban the signs were that the promise was being fulfilled although the trip would soon go rapidly downhill for Marsh and Australia.
2018: Sidelined by injury then a difficult return
Following the South Africa tour that ended in the ball-tampering scandal, Marsh underwent surgery on an ankle problem that had been troubling him for some time. It ruled him out of a county stint with Surrey, plus the limited-overs tours of England and Zimbabwe, but he returned later in the year for the Test series against Pakistan in the UAE, by which time he had also been named joint vice-captain amid Australia's leadership reshuffle. He struggled in the two matches and was then left out at the start of the home series against India before brief recall for the Boxing Day Test where two failures saw him ditched again.
January 2019: Illness scuppers one-day return
Just when it looked like Marsh would have the chance to regain his ODI berth and push for a place at the 2019 World Cup he suffered a nasty illness on the eve of the series against India which briefly put him in hospital. When Australia wanted all-round cover in the Test squad to face Sri Lanka, they called up Marcus Stoinis. Marsh's return to Sheffield Shield cricket was then interrupted when he was struck in the box at training which required surgery. Though he eventually finished the season strongly he missed the World Cup squad and lost his CA contract.
September 2019: Ashes haul
When Stoinis was injured during the World Cup Marsh was put on standby but was not required in the end. He earned a recall for the Ashes series that followed and had to wait until the final Test at The Oval for his chance, but with the ball he grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in the first innings. Though his batting was more modest he had given him a good chance of being involved at the start of the home summer
October 2019: Taking on the wall
However, any hopes of keeping his Test place were ended when he took out his frustration at a dismissal in the Sheffield Shield by thumping the dressing room wall at the WACA which led to a broken hand. When asked what coach Justin Langer said to him, Marsh replied: "He just told me I'm an idiot basically. He was disappointed for me." The injury kept him out of action for half the summer although towards the end of the season he earned a recall to the limited-overs set-up shortly before Covid-19 shut down sport.
September 2020: Another injury setback
Marsh produced back-to-back impressive innings on the tour of England as Australia resumed action after a six-month hiatus, the first securing a consolation T20I victory and the second setting up a win in the opening ODI. He jetted to the UAE to take up his IPL deal with Sunrisers Hyderabad but rolled his ankle during his first over of the tournament. He hobbled out to bat late in the chase to try and help the Sunrisers across the line but fell for a duck and two days later was ruled out of the tournament.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo