Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh is nursing a groin injury and is in a race against time to be fit for the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town on March 22.
Marsh had to be moved to first slip on the fourth day of the second Test in Port Elizabeth due to his injury. However, while stationed there, he dropped a catch that would have dismissed South Africa opener Aiden Markram prior to the lunch break.
Australia captain Steve Smith acknowledged that Marsh is a vital part of the team as he has made his presence felt with both the bat and ball in the first two Tests.
However, even if Marsh is fit for the third Test, there is still the risk of him aggravating the injury.
“He’s got a bit of a groin strain so he was struggling to move a little bit,” Smith was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “I was told at the break that he can actually run, so unfortunately he could’ve been out on the field when he was in the slips, but still should’ve taken that catch but everyone drops it every now and again, I’ve been pretty guilty myself in recent times. It’s just one of those things and we’ll move on.”
Coming into the second Test, Marsh was dealing with a bout of gastro. Knowing that the 26-year-old was under the weather on the opening day of the match, Australia assistant coach David Saker was impressed with the way in which he powered through.
However, Saker conceded that Marsh’s groin injury presents Australia with a serious problem as he has the ability to excel with both the bat and ball.
“On the first day he had some gastro, he obviously wasn’t feeling that good, but once you take the field, when he went out to bat, you’ve just got to get on with it,” Saker said. “It obviously didn’t go the way he wanted, but since that time he’s had some really good contributions, two really important wickets for us and a fantastic batting performance.
“His form since’s he’s got back in the Australian team has been fantastic for us, he’s not just a batter, he does some bowling for us, he’s a fantastic person in the dressing room for us and a future leader of the team, so there’s more than just the package you see from the outside because inside he’s a very valued member of our team.”