Australia's Mitchell Marsh bats  India A in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)
Australia's Mitchell Marsh bats India A in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade) Rajanish Kakade

Struggling Marsh sent home with shoulder injury

CRICKET: Australia will have a new No.6 for the third Test in Ranchi, after Mitchell Marsh was ruled out of the rest of the series with a shoulder injury.

Either Moises Henriques or Marcus Stoinis were last night expected to be added to the squad, but existing members Usman Khawaja and Glenn Maxwell are now firmly in the frame to play their first Test of the tour.

Coach Darren Lehmann denies it was a mistake to bring Marsh to India in the first place given his shoulder history, but admits selectors will now seriously consider the option of playing six specialist batsmen or a spin bowling all-rounder in the next match - giving particular hope to Khawaja and Maxwell's ambitions.

Marsh was to be fighting to save his position in any case given he has bowled just five overs in this entire series and struggled to make a defining impact with the bat.

Khawaja was the only Australian batsman to have scored 1000 first-class runs during the home summer, and was unlucky to miss the cut for Shaun Marsh for the first Test.

The unpredictable result wickets prepared for the first two Tests in Pune and Bangalore has rendered a fifth bowling option surplus to requirements, but selectors may still be concerned about Khawaja's battles against spin bowling, with the left-hander certain to be targeted by Indian ace Ravi Ashwin if selected.

Marsh will head straight back to Melbourne for treatment, fast-tracking the decision making process over who should saddle up in the No.6 position Australia has been unable to satisfy for several years.

"You could go either way really," said Lehmann.

"You could go with the extra spinner there as well. There have been options there to do that and we talked about that first Test.

"Again we'll have a look at the wicket and work out what we do.

"Whether we go with Usman Khawaja or Glenn Maxwell or whoever is selected, we'll just wait and see.

"We'll decide the replacement (in the squad for Marsh) in the next day or so and then work out our best XI from there."

Marsh battled shoulder problems during the home summer and there were whispers around cricket circles about how he might bear up in India.

However, Lehmann and medical staff said Marsh was fit to play Test cricket.

"I was confident. I thought he played really well in the second innings in Pune where he got 31," said the coach.

"It was fine when he got here but it's gotten worse. At the end of the day it's unlucky for Mitch."

Australian physio David Beakley said Marsh would consult with specialists to determine whether or not surgery is required.

"Mitchell has been playing with a shoulder injury for most of the summer, which we have been managing up until now, but unfortunately it has progressively deteriorated to a point where he is unable to function at the level required," said Beakley.

"Consequently he will return to Australia to consult with specialists to advise the best course of action."

News Corp Australia

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