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India vs Australia: Mitch Marsh Replaces Out of Form Handscomb for Boxing Day Test

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: December 25, 2018, 9:52 AM IST
India vs Australia: Mitch Marsh Replaces Out of Form Handscomb for Boxing Day Test

Mitchell Marsh at the Australian nets (Image: @cricketcomau)

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Despite winning to level the series in Perth, Australia have made a change to their playing XI for the third Test, recalling all-rounder Marsh ahead of the woefully out of form Peter Handscomb. Marsh’s part-time seamers will help relieve pressure on the home side's pace attack on a pitch that is not expected to offer as much for the bowlers as Adelaide or Perth.

Part of the thinking also revolves around the potentially decisive fourth and final Test in Sydney, with only a three-day recovery period if Melbourne goes the full five-day distance.

Handscomb was axed after scoring just 34, 14, 7 and 13 across four innings, with several former players such as Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting raising question marks over his batting technique.

"I'm sure Pete 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," Australia captain Tim Paine said.

Paine added that he did not believe dropping a player from a winning XI would impact Australia's momentum.

"No I don't think so, we did it last year during the Ashes as well. The majority of this decision has 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," he said.

"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."

Australia team - Aaron Finch, Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

First Published: December 25, 2018, 9:29 AM IST
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