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AUSTRALIA V PAKISTAN TESTS

Lehmann casts doubt on Marsh recall

01 December 2016

Shaun Marsh made 63 and 15 at the top of the order in the first Test against South Africa // Getty

The left-hander is yet to resume full training and faces a race against the clock to earn a recall for the first Test against Pakistan

Shaun Marsh may have to prove his fitness in Perth grade cricket if he's to have any chance of a recall to Australia's Test side for the series opener against Pakistan.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann has all but ruled out picking the opening batsman, who is recovering from a broken finger, without time in the middle before the first Commonwealth Bank Test against Pakistan at the Gabba.


The 33-year-old is far from a certainty to line up for Western Australia in their next Sheffield Shield outing against Queensland on Monday, which, like the Brisbane Test, is a pink-ball day-night clash.

The WACA Shield match is Marsh's only first-class opportunity to impress selectors before the first Test on December 15.

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"He's not back to full training yet," Lehmann told Sky Sports Radio on Thursday.

"He's touch-and-go for that Shield game.

"That's going to be the biggest thing - to make sure his finger's right."

Shaun Marsh makes a classy 63

Marsh has been sidelined since breaking the finger in the first Test against South Africa last month where he made a composed first-innings half-century.

Aside from proving his fitness, he also likely needs to depose 20-year-old Matt Renshaw at the top of the order.

Queenslander Renshaw, who made his debut in the day-night third Test against South Africa in Adelaide, is aiming to play his first international match at his home ground.

Aussie crowd urges watchful Renshaw on

"We want him (Marsh) to play some cricket before we consider him," Lehmann said.

"That's going to be the challenge for him, to get back playing."

Marsh would not be the only player in recent years to return to the Australian set-up from injury via grade cricket.

Former captain Michael Clarke and allrounder Mitchell Marsh proved their fitness by turning out for Sydney grade club Western Suburbs before last year's World Cup.

Quick Single: Legends divided by Marsh conundrum

Opinion is divided on whether Shaun Marsh's deserves a place in the Australian XI, with former Test opener Michael Slater backing him to return at the expense of Renshaw.

Former captain Ian Chappell, however, has urged selectors to "draw a line through" the West Australian's name due to his injury susceptibility.

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