Mitch Marsh made a strong case to keep his Ashes place – Andrew McDonald
Australia head coach Andrew McDonald admits Mitch Marsh has given him a selection headache ahead of next week’s fourth Ashes Test.
Marsh replaced the injured Cameron Green at Headingley and marked his first game in four years with a brilliant century and two wickets.
With Green fit again and apparently enjoying enough credit with the selectors to come straight back in, there are two obvious ways to tweak the line-up to accommodate both all-rounders.
One would see opener David Warner drop out following his latest double failure against Stuart Broad, while the other involves dropping Scott Boland and asking the combination of Marsh and Green to share his overs.
With the tourists leading 2-1 with two to play, it is a decision they need to get right.
“We’ve got a lot to consider and a lot to weigh up,” McDonald told reporters. “We’ve got everything to consider in terms of Mitch Marsh coming in, what the balance looks like, our all-rounders. We’ll have to consider the options ahead.
“He’s made a pretty good case. I thought he was outstanding this game. There’s a lot to like with how he matches up against England. I thought he was impressive with the ball as well, and he’s done that before in England with the ball, so that’s nothing new.”
Whether Marsh could transfer his ball-striking to the top of the order as a like-for-like stand-in for Warner is less clear.
“He did pretty well down the middle order. To put him up to open in England would probably be something we haven’t discussed yet, but we do have some time between now and the next Test,” said McDonald.
“You’ve also got to reflect on what the opening partnership has been able to do across the six innings (in the series) and there’s been three 50-plus partnerships in there. Albeit it didn’t function to its level here, in some ways it has done well so far in this series.”