Australian batsman Shaun Marsh raises his bat after reaching a half century on day two of the first Test against South Africa at the WACA.
Australian batsman Shaun Marsh raises his bat after reaching a half century on day two of the first Test against South Africa at the WACA. DAVE HUNT

Chappell 'put a line through Marsh's name a while ago'

CRICKET: Test great Ian Chappell wants to see Australia leave the much-maligned Shaun Marsh in the past to focus on the future.

The injury-prone 33-year-old batsman is edging closer to full fitness after his latest setback - a broken finger.

And he could therefore be in line for the eighth recall to the Test team of his career for the start of the three-match series against Pakistan, in Brisbane on December 15.

For that to occur he would be brought back at the expense of either Queenalander Matt Renshaw, 20, at the top of the order or New South Welshman Nic Maddinson, 23, in the middle.

Former Australian players Brendon Julian and Chris Rogers were both for the West Australian's reinstatement earlier this week.

Chappell, however, says he "put a line through Shaun Marsh's name a while ago” due to both his constant battle with injury and form.

"Crikey, he's got talent but he plays one (Test) and then misses two, plays one, misses two. You can't have fellas injured all the time,” Chappell told Adelaide radio 5AA.

"I reckon he's the sort of fella who loses confidence fairly quickly. Guys who do that tend to have big peaks and large valleys in their batting chart.

"I would have moved on from Marsh, especially with these young guys doing some good stuff.”

Renshaw (who made 10 and 34 not out) and Maddinson (zero) were among the three new additions to the batting order, along with Peter Handscomb (54 and one not out).

Looking the most safe, Victorian Handscomb said yesterday he was looking forward to playing on home soil at the MCG in the Boxing Day Test, the second in the series against Pakistan.

The 25-year-old was at the ground yesterday as the Bushrangers beat South Australia by five wickets in their Sheffield Shield match.

"If I got the opportunity to come out here in front of a Boxing Day crowd, I'd be pretty stoked,” Handscomb said.

"I was just about to put my order in for a few Boxing Day Test tickets.

"So I might just hold off on that and get the ones hopefully that the squad members get.”

Incredibly, Australia appears set to head into its series against Pakistan ranked higher than the tourists.

Despite only winning their first match in six Tests, the Aussies will rise to second on the world standings, with England down to third due to its struggles against the top-ranked India - they are on the verge of going down 2-0 - and Pakistan fourth after losing 2-0 in New Zealand.

The Black Caps yesterday completed their first series victory over Pakistan since 1985.

Pakistan had not lost a series since being beaten 2-0 in Sri Lanka in August 2014, winning five and drawing two, which included one drawn series in England that briefly gave it the top Test ranking.

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