Marsh Back In Australian Test Squad, Watson To Miss First Test

Shaun Marsh plays a shot
Shaun Marsh is back in the reckoning after excelling in Perth yesterday.
©REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte. Picture Supplied by Action Images

Shaun Marsh will travel to South Africa after all to take part in the three-match Test series against the number one ranked Test side after recovering from a calf strain. He will replace all-rounder Shane Watson, who himself has a calf strain and will miss at least the first Test in Centurion, which begins on Wednesday.

Commenting on the addition of Marsh to the squad, National Selector John Inverarity said: “Shaun has now recovered from injury and the National Selection Panel has selected him to join the squad in South Africa in light of Shane Watson not being available for the first Test with a calf injury.”

Marsh was originally included in the Australian touring party when it was named last month, but withdrew because of his injury. However, he played a pivotal role for his Big Bash League franchise Perth Scorchers in yesterday’s final against Hobart Hurricanes, hitting 63 off 43 balls as the Scorchers claimed their first title. Him proving his fitness at the WACA coincided with the decision that Watson wouldn’t be fit in time for Centurion, hence Marsh’s reinstatement to the Test squad.

Watson’s injury leaves Australia will just one all-rounder ahead of the first Test, with Moises Henriques having replaced James Faulkner, who withdrew with a knee injury. It opens up the real possibility that the tourists will go in with a four-man attack, with Phil Hughes and Marsh vying to bat at number six.

Australia first Test squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Ryan Harris, Moises Henriques, Phil Hughes, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, David Warner.

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results

12th-16th February: 1st Test, Centurion
AUS 397 & 290-4d. beat RSA 206 & 200 by 281 runs
20th-24th February: 2nd Test, Port Elizabeth
RSA 423 & 270-5 dec. beat 246 & 216 by 231 runs
1st-5th March: 3rd Test, Cape Town
AUS 494-7d & 303-5d beat RSA 287 & 265 by 245 runs
9th March: 1st T20I, Port Elizabeth
Match abandoned without a ball bowled - rain
12th March: 2nd T20I, Durban
AUS 81-5 beat RSA 80-1 by 5 wickets
14th March: 3rd T20I, Centurion
AUS 129-4 beat RSA 128-7 by 6 wickets