Australia have drafted in Perth Scorchers batsman Ashton Turner as cover for an ill Mitchell Marsh ahead of the first Gillette ODI at the SCG.
Marsh has gastritis and has spent the past two days in hospital.
Coach Justin Langer confirmed Marsh will not play in the first ODI against India on Saturday and will monitor the allrounder’s progress ahead of the final two matches in Adelaide (January 15) and Melbourne (January 18).
Langer said the uncapped Turner’s ability to finish off an innings with the bat and his ability to create pressure with his lightning running between the wickets were what got him the nod.
“I remember when Mike Hussey came into Australian cricket, the thing that almost got him a shot in the one-day side was his running between his wickets,” Langer said. “That might sound like the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard but you watch Ashton Turner, the way he runs between wickets is unbelievable. “He’s such a great athlete, it puts so much pressure (on the opposition).
“One of the hallmarks of great Australian teams, you think about Dean Jones and Michael Bevan and Michael Hussey, is the running between (wickets). “It’s a basic (skill) but we’ve also been talking about getting players who can finish off innings and he’s shown that in what we can go off in Big Bash cricket, he’s in great form. “He can finish the innings off well, an elite athlete in the field and he’s also a captain.
“You see the way he finishes off an innings that he’s a good thinker of the game like most of the great finishes and a really good leader, good person around the group. Very excited to see him come in.”
Turner, who plays his state cricket with Western Australia, had a key role in a Perth win in Wednesday night’s KFC BBL match against the Melbourne Stars at the MCG and today headed to Sydney to link up with the ODI squad ahead of Saturday’s first ODI.
Playing as the Scorchers stand-in captain with Mitch Marsh on national duty, Turner has scored 43 not out, 47 and 60 not out in his past three BBL matches.
Turner doused any hopes of a Stars victory with his entertaining 43no from just 22 deliveries last night. He reached the boundary twice and cleared it three times during his short-but-sweet stay at the crease, steering his team to just their second win of BBL|08. The Scorchers’ next fixture is Sunday, at home to the Sydney Sixers.
It’s been a rough week for Marsh, who before falling crook was dropped from the Test squad to face Sri Lanka. Langer said it was a tough decision to make given the close bond he shares with the Marsh family.
“I’ve known them since they were kids, Geoff Marsh (Mitch’s father) is one of my best friends, which makes it hard,” he said. “He’s also been a coach with West Australian cricket.
“But at the end of the day we all know, the boys know and ‘Swampy’ (Geoff Marsh) knows that this is a tough business and if you’re not performing you don’t get selected.
“And that’s how that decision came about.”
Gillette ODI Series v India
Australia ODI squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa
India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
- First ODI: January 12, SCG (D/N)
- Second ODI: January 15, Adelaide Oval (D/N)
- Third ODI: January 18, MCG (D/N)