Marsh moment of madness may have Test ramifications
MITCHELL Marsh has sensationally put himself in doubt for the first Test of the summer after punching a dressing room wall.
The Aussie all-rounder is an incumbent in the side having played in the final Test of the recent Ashes series, however, a brain snap while playing for Western Australia has him now nursing a suspected broken hand.
Selectors were desperate for Marsh to put his hand up but never would have expected him to thrust it through a wall.
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Marsh was cruising towards a big score at the WACA against Tasmania but after he was caught and bowled by Jackson Bird for 53, he couldn't control his frustrations back in the WA rooms.
Australia are desperate for the 27-year-old to make himself an irresistible case for the Test team, given the balance a No.6 who bats and bowls provides.
But Marsh will now undergo scans this week, with WA fearing a fracture.
"Western Australian captain Mitch Marsh injured his hand during today's Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania at the WACA ground," said a statement from the WACA.
"Marsh sustained the injury when he struck the wall in the changerooms following his dismissal earlier in the day.
"The extent of the injury and a time frame on his return will be determined later this week after further investigation."
Marsh is the Australian cricketer who officially can't take a trick.
Just when he gets his body right after years of issues with his back and hamstrings, a freak accident - albeit self-inflicted - occurs.
Marsh had made 41 in the first innings, making it a handy start to his domestic season.
Now if he's not out of consideration for the first Test in late November against Pakistan, he at least looks likely to miss upcoming Shield action.
Marsh took valuable wickets in the fifth and final Ashes Test, but still needs to prove himself with a big hundred with the bat.
That looked on offer on the final day at the WACA, but went begging when he fell to Bird.
Overall it was a good weekend for Australia's preparations for the upcoming Test series against Pakistan - with a host of incumbents and challengers putting their hands up.
Captain Tim Paine scored his first first-class hundred in 13 years against WA for Tasmania, a much needed-confidence booster for the skipper.
David Warner also bounced back from a lean Ashes series to return to form with a dominant ton for NSW, while opening partner Marcus Harris also scored a hundred in a farcical draw against South Australia.
Just 12 wickets fell in four days of cricket at the Junction Oval in Melbourne, with the pitch declared as one of the flattest encountered in Shield cricket.
Victoria captain Peter Handscomb took a shot at South Australian counterpart Travis Head for not trying to set up a result by declaring behind - this despite the fact the Bushrangers had not hesitated in pushing onto 616 in the first innings.
Queensland star Marnus Labuschange made two impressive half centuries in a loss to NSW, but Bulls teammates Matthew Renshaw and Usman Khawaja failed to push their cases for Test selection. Joe Burns scored a second innings 50 but will need centuries to put himself on the radar.
Head made a half century for South Australia, but could find himself under serious pressure from young gun Will Pucovski from Victoria, who started the season with another impressive ton.
The smokey is Victoria's Nick Maddinson who made a stunning double century, with the Redbacks Tom Cooper also making one in the same dead match.