Australia in India 2016-17 March 8, 2017

Stoinis replaces injured Mitchell Marsh in Test squad

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Quick facts - Marcus Stoinis

Victoria allrounder Marcus Stoinis has been called into Australia's squad for the remainder of the Test series in India after Mitchell Marsh was ruled out due to an ongoing shoulder injury. Stoinis will fly to India after the conclusion of Victoria's current Sheffield Shield match, which began in Alice Springs on Wednesday, and will arrive during Australia's 10-day break between the second and third Tests.

Marsh will head home with plenty to think about as both a bowler and a batsman. Having hurled the ball down at speeds in excess of 140kph during 2016, Marsh's pace dropped away alarmingly during a home summer in which he was also axed from the Test team due to a string of poor scores. When recalled for the India series, Marsh was withdrawn from the limited-overs squad in order to rest his shoulder in the hope of recovery.

However, in five overs across the two Tests, his pace remained in the 120kph bracket, and it is for this reason, rather than three low scores in four innings at No.6, that the selectors have been compelled to look elsewhere. "Mitch Marsh will go back to Melbourne with his shoulder," coach Darren Lehmann said after the Bengaluru Test. "We'll decide in the next day or so the replacement there, and then work out what our best XI is from there.

"He had the injury through the summer, he was fine when he got here but it just got worse. I was really happy with the way he played the second innings in Pune. It's unlucky for Mitch and we move to whoever the next person comes in. Whether we go with Usman Khawaja or Glenn Maxwell or whoever is selected, we'll wait and see."

David Beakley, the team physio, explained how Marsh's shoulder had deteriorated: "Mitchell has been playing with a shoulder injury for most of the summer, which we have been managing up until now, but unfortunately it has progressively deteriorated to a point where he is unable to function at the level required. Consequently he will return to Australia to consult with specialists to advise the best course of action."

In mid-January, when Marsh was pulled out of the ODI team, Beakley had made a remarkably similar statement: "Mitchell has had an ongoing shoulder injury which we have been managing but it is now at a point where he is unable to function at the level required. He now requires a period of rest and rehabilitation in order to return to full fitness."

Stoinis was preferred ahead of other all-round options such as Hilton Cartwright, who made his Test debut against Pakistan in the first week of January, and Moises Henriques, who played on last year's Test tour of India. Henriques has 659 Sheffield Shield runs at 65.90 this summer and Cartwright has 520 at 37.14, compared to Stoinis' more modest tally of 172 at 15.63.

However, Stoinis impressed the selectors by stepping up to international level during the recent Chappell-Hadlee ODI series in New Zealand, when he smashed an unbeaten 146 in Australia's unsuccessful chase in Auckland. There is no guarantee that Stoinis will play in India, though, with Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell among the other options to replace Marsh in the XI.

Mitchell Marsh will take no further part in the series © Associated Press

The break between Tests will allow Australia's bowlers to freshen up physically, particularly the pacemen and also the spin bowler Nathan Lyon, who is battling a raw and bleeding spinning finger.

Lehmann noted the up-and-down fortunes of the left-armer Mitchell Starc in Bengaluru, but said the tourists needed to accept that his ability to strike as violently as he did on the fourth morning always came at the risk of conceding runs.

"That's what you get with a Mitchell Starc who can blow a game or change a game like he did with those wickets," Lehmann said. "You'd love him to be more consistent, but if he's more consistent then maybe he doesn't blow games apart. For us the challenge is making sure he's fresh to go and he just does what he does. You've got to take that sometimes as a coach and a captain, he might go for runs but he's going to take some key wickets for you."

Assessing the overall mood of the team following the loss of a Test they had started so strongly, Lehmann said it was important for the tourists to move on quickly, given that the surface for the third match in Ranchi was likely to offer up an outright result once again.

"They're pretty good. We had a bad 33 overs [on day four], so you've got to move on quite quickly," he said. "We've got a break, it's been a long summer and we've come here with the challenge of retaining the trophy first and foremost, we're very close but not good enough. We've got to regroup quickly for Ranchi.

"I presume the wicket will be very similar and that's a great thing, you know there's going to be a result when you rock up for the game, so for us to be on the right side of the ledger if that makes sense and play well. If you'd said to us 1-1 after two Test matches you're not in a bad position, barring not getting enough runs [on final day]. Pleased where we're at, we've got to play well next Test match."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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  • cornel0115175 on March 14, 2017, 8:33 GMT

    MM should never have been selected in the squad. His test record clearly shows that he is not good enough. It is time to move on and try someone else. Congrats to the selectors on choosing Stoinis - he is a better bat than MM but not as good a bowler, but MM was not that good as a bowler anyway so we dont lose much there. Down the track, the lad Wildermuth is looking the goods for mine

  • Alexander on March 13, 2017, 0:18 GMT

    @ CHRIS_P I wish that you would do your research before commenting on selections. James Faulkner, like Mitchell Marsh is a genuine all-rounder. Yes he only averages above 30 with the bat but the requirements for a genuine all-rounder differ to that of a specialist batsman or bowler. Ian Botham, Kapil Dev and Imran Khan were genuine all-rounders who averaged in the 30's with the bat and below 30 with the ball. Kallis and Sobers averaged above 50 with the bat and in the 30's with the ball as two of the greatest Batting all-rounders of all time. You have to understand you either play 6 specialist batsmen OR you pick 5 batsmen and a genuine all-rounder. Wade can bat so we have the luxury of playing a genuine all-rounder! I stand by my earlier comments, Faulkner's form this year hasn't been great in First Class Cricket but his overall record is superior to many of his peers that have been mentioned. It is just that simple.

  • Neil on March 10, 2017, 12:58 GMT

    Wonderful consistency from the Aus selectors - they've replaced a plank with a piece of wood.

  • rajeev9986700 on March 9, 2017, 17:17 GMT

    Ashton Agar also would have been a perfect choice. He is capable left arm spinner and fine batsman.

  • Mashuq on March 9, 2017, 17:05 GMT

    Spot on @DOWNTHEORDER ON MARCH 9, 2017, 5:24 GMT on identifying the reason for Stoinis being in the selector's minds This was also why they picked Cartwright until they saw how ineffective his 4 overs were. The same might happen if Stoinis is picked for his bowling! Maybe the idea is to take him to Bangladesh and give him a shot at showing what he can deliver. If so, it remains wrongheaded unless he comes off with the bat! Playing him in India would be a great risk when Maxi/Khawaja are alreadt there and have been through the camp prep. Just muddled thinking which hopefully won't cost us games as the selection of MM has.

  • drawly0432769 on March 9, 2017, 12:53 GMT

    The question has to be asked- if he is injured why was he even picked for the test or even in the initial squad? Even when fully fit he brings nothing. 5 overs from a supposed allrounder is ridiculous and the missing player really hurt Aus in the last test. A few extra runs or another genuine bowling option in India's second innings would have probably been enough to sway the test. I would personally prefer to see a bowler replace Marsh- Lyon once again failed to deliver on a wearing pitch when the bounce goes, and Starc also had some issues. Not saying they need to be dropped but Aus need another option for those sorts of days.

  • james on March 9, 2017, 11:12 GMT

    I agree with DAVEOTASMANIA completely Warner is a walking wicket against Ashwin no matter where he bats, Khawaja should open as he does not start well against spin. Perhaps Warner can teach Shaun Marsh how to play seam and Marsh can "try" and teach Warner how to play spin. Hats off to Renshaw perhaps the best Australian batting find since Hussey. Up hill battle for Australia now Kohli won't fail 3 tests in a row if Lyon's finger doesn't recover Australia will be left hoping for a last ditch win up North in Dharamsala. I would have sent Peter Nevill over in place of M Marsh. Wade must have cost Lyon in excess of 15 wickets by now.

  • Allan on March 9, 2017, 10:47 GMT

    @CRICFAN08270811 fantastic analysis and with numbers like this its absurd how khawaja is not playing, he is in fantastic form and deserves his first game in India

  • warwick on March 9, 2017, 8:05 GMT

    Inevitable that selectors journey with M.Marsh would end in tears. Thanks for the memories though

  • god0179873294 on March 9, 2017, 7:46 GMT

    They picked Stoinis on bowling ability.cause we've really been struggling to take 20 wickets so far. And M. Marsh bowled so much.. Wow CA!!! Wow CA??Hats of u.... CA u beauty!!

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