Magellan Ashes 2017-18
Australia to sleep on naming Test XI
Nature of WACA Ground pitch on match morning to determine whether or not Peter Handscomb will get the axe
13 December 2017, 02:21 PM AEST
Australia will wait until the morning of day one of the third Ashes Magellan Test against England to name their XI.
Mitch Marsh is expected to be recalled at the expense of Peter Handscomb as the hosts push for an unassailable 3-0 series lead at the WACA Ground.
But captain Steve Smith and selectors are keen to have a look at the pitch on Thursday morning before making a call.
"We haven't picked the team yet," Smith told reporters. "It'll be unlucky if he (Handscomb) misses out.
"If he does miss out there's no reason he won't be back in the team soon.
"It is tough.
"If we do go down that route it's purely for the reason we think we need an extra bowler, nothing to do with anybody's batting."
Smith, who has spoken with teammates about the danger of complacency after comfortable Ashes victories in Brisbane and Adelaide, is hopeful the WACA deck will harden up overnight.
"It's probably not as hard as I would have liked it to be a day out, but 24 hours can change a wicket," he said.
"We'll have another look in the morning. Hopefully it's a bit harder and faster."
Smith has been impressed with Mitch Marsh's batting at domestic level since he underwent a shoulder reconstruction earlier this year.
"He's tightened up his defence quite a lot," Smith said.
"I know speaking to him when he was back in the team a little while ago, we spoke about softening your hands up in defence -- and those good length balls, not going so hard."
2017-18 International Fixtures
Magellan Ashes Series
Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird.
England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.
First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard
Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Tickets
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets
Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21