Mitchell Marsh replaces Peter Handscomb in Australia squad for Boxing Day Test vs India

first_imgAustralia announced their playing XI on Tuesday for the third Test against India, starting December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Australia have not tinkered much with their winning combination in the Perth Test except for one major change. Mitchell Marsh is back in the playing XI after being dropped for the first two Tests while Peter Handscomb will have to sit out of the huge Boxing Day Test. The rest of the Australian squad remains the same with their formidable bowling combination in Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood likely to get some help from Mitch Marsh.Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris showed good application in the Perth Test and despite being hit on the finger, which led to a temporary retired hurt for Finch, he has been retained in the squad.Finch had declared that his finger was fine and said, “With a Boxing Day Test, being from Victoria, it’s [finger] going to have to be cut off [to not play]”.Travis Head, despite his failures in the two innings in Perth, has been retained in the squad while Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh complete the middle-order for the Aussies.Tim Paine explained the change in the winning combination saying they would need the bowling of Mitchell Marsh and also there were a few things the management wanted Handscomb to work on.”It’s a long series, our bowlers have had a really big workload and we feel we’re going to need Mitch’s bowling at some point,” Paine told reporters.advertisement”I’m sure Pete [Handscomb] would be upset. I think he’s had conversations with the selectors that there’s a few things they would like him to work on and Pete is open to that.”Pete at his best is going to score a lot of Test runs and not just his batting, he brings a hell of a lot to our side in terms of his fielding, his experience and just the way he generally goes about his cricket. We’re sure he’ll score a lot more runs for Australia.”When asked if changing a winning combination would impact the momentum Australia had gained from Perth, captain Paine disagreed.Tim Paine explains the change to Australia’s XI for the Boxing Day Test #AUSvIND (@cricketcomau) December 25, 2018″No I don’t think so, we did it last year during the Ashes as well. The majority of this decision’s been based around it’s a long series, we’ve played on a lot of hot days and our bowlers have had a big workload.”We believe Mitch can come in and do a really good job with the bat and obviously he’ll give great support to our bowlers.”Marsh did not play the first two Tests against India but the MCG pitch and Handscomb’s form in both Adelaide and Perth brough Mitch back into the picture.Handscombs scored just 68 runs across the four innings of the first two Tests and his lbw dismissal in Perth, where he was pinned deep in his crease by Ishant Sharma, led to Shane Warne likening him to “a lamb to the slaughter”.However, Paine made it clear that Handscomb is going to be around and he will be back in consideration at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the fourth and final Test against India.”Going to Sydney, a place where it normally spins, I think people come back into the fold pretty quickly because he’s renowned as probably our best player of spin,” Paine said.”I know he’ll be doing everything he can to get back into the side.”Australia XI: Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (C), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh HazlewoodAlso Read | India name playing XI for Boxing Day Test vs Australia: Agarwal to debut, Jadeja returnsAlso Read | Great bowlers dismiss great batsmen: Langer talks up Lyon’s duel with KohliAlso See:last_img