Marsh was disappointed to have lost the chance to play against South Africa
Western Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has missed out on making the Australia A squad ahead of their match against the South Africans due to behavioural issues.
Marsh, along with several other of his Perth Scorchers team-mates went out the night before their Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) must-win match and it resulted in him and his brother, Shaun, being dropped from the team.
The Australia A team will be captained by Victoria all-rounder Andrew McDonald, who is just one of four players in the squad having played Test cricket before, with the other three being Phillip Hughes, Tim Paine and Steven Smith.
Speaking about the situation, national selector John Inverarity said: “Four or five days ago we had a squad of 15 that we were looking to mould and Mitch was in that, what’s happened in South Africa recently didn’t help his cause there. It’s up to the WACA to deal with that and they will deal with that appropriately. As soon as that has been dealt with and whatever sanctions they have in mind…when that’s finished he’ll be very much back on the radar. Mitch is a good lad but apparently there was alleged to be an indiscretion there. I’m sure we’ve all had indiscretions in our time. But he’ll come back onto the radar. He’s a very good cricketer, a very promising cricketer and a cricketer that Australia needs to develop.”
When asked if Marsh had been dropped due to his actions in South Africa during the CLT20, Inverarity said: “Yes, his name was taken off the list because of what’s happened recently. Mitch is a lively 21-year-old and a very good cricketer. I feel really confident he will kick on as a young man and as a player. I’m sure he will.”
Inverarity explained that he understood the players had been celebrating Marsh’s 21st birthday, but noted that he was growing more and more concerned about the behaviour of players off the field.
“There are concerns there, the concerns are fairly widespread, yes, We want cricket to have a very healthy culture in all parts of Australia, and I think in WA there need to be some changes and they need to pull up their socks,” Inverarity added.
The Australia A squad will also feature Western Australia’s fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile and opener Liam Davis, while Victoria’s flamboyant opening batsman Rob Quiney was also included.
Tasmania batsman Alex Doolan, who made 149 against South Australia earlier in the month was also awarded a place on the squad.
However, Callum Ferguson, who made a career-best 164 in last week’s Sheffield Shield match against South Australia at Adelaide, and Usman Khawaja failed to make the cut for the team.
“We were delighted he made 160-odd the other day, which was terrific, the issue with Callum is consistency, we want him to do it again, and again and again. I think Phil Hughes really benefited by having an uninterrupted time at Worcester. He was there, he was settled, he made runs there, and we’re looking for Callum staying with SA, batting at No. 4, batting under pressure and getting runs consistently,” Inverarity said.
The Australia A team will play the South Africans in Sydney, but none of the players will be able to make the Test team since it was announced today.
“The national selection panel does not intend, at the moment, to include any of the players in this Australia A team in the squad for the first Test, Phillip Hughes, Rob Quiney, Liam Davis and Alex Doolan are four top-order batsmen who have played well recently and will have an opportunity to impress against the formidable South African pace attack. Rob Quiney has been very close to receiving recognition for some time and his sound technique and equable temperament should serve him well as an opener. Phillip Hughes has been in pleasing form and showing the benefits of his four month uninterrupted spell with Worcestershire and settling in well with his new team, South Australia,” Inverarity said.
“Andrew McDonald, Steve Smith, Moises Henriques and Alex Doolan have been in sparkling form recently. Following the unfortunate shoulder injury to Jon Holland, Glenn Maxwell has been given the responsibility of being the team’s sole spinner. The NSP is very keen for him to develop as a genuine allrounder. John Hastings has made a splendid return from injury, as has Tim Paine, and John will share the new ball with Nathan Coulter-Nile, who impressed with Australia A in England a few months ago, as did Davis. They will be supported by the medium pace of McDonald and Henriques,” Inverarity added.
The Australia A squad for the Test match against South Africa is as follows: Phillip Hughes, Rob Quiney, Liam Davis, Alex Doolan, Andrew McDonald (capt), Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, John Hastings, Nathan Coulter-Nile.