The Allrounder gets a shock recall as he replaces Travis Head in the 12 players’ group for the Fifth Ashes Test.
Allrounder Mitchell Marsh has replaced vice-captain Travis Head in Australia’s 12-man squad for the fifth Ashes Test at The Oval. Marsh has come in to provide extra bowling cover in place of Head, who has averaged 27.28 in four Tests this English summer.
“The reason Travis isn’t playing is that we felt we needed extra bowling after a long series,” skipper Tim Paine said.
“We want to get the make-up right for this Test and unfortunately Travis misses out. He’s disappointed he’s not playing.”
“No doubt he’s in the top six or seven batsmen in this country.”
Opener David Warner, who has been dismissed for a duck in his past three innings, has held his spot and will again open the batting with Marcus Harris.
Paine confirmed the final XI will be named at the toss on Thursday, with the four-man bowling attack from the fourth Test as well as Peter Siddle all named in the squad.
Paceman James Pattinson misses out having played at Edgbaston and Headingley in his first Test series back after three-and-a-half years on the sidelines with injury.
Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood will be given until match day to see how they recover from the Old Trafford Test, which concluded on Monday.
Cummins (24 wickets at 17.41) and Hazlewood (18 at 16.88) are Australia’s leading wicket-takers in the series and captured 13 wickets between them at Old Trafford.
It has been a particularly grueling northern summer for Cummins, who featured in all 10 of Australia’s World Cup matches, the intra-squad tour match in Southampton and all four Ashes Tests.
Despite the immense workload, the 26-year-old has continued to maintain his express pace and extend his lead as the top-ranked Test bowler in the world.
Hazlewood’s successful return to Test cricket after eight months on the sidelines has seen him vault into the top 10 Test bowlers at equal-eighth with New Zealand’s Neil Wagner.
Not since Steve Waugh’s charges in 2001 has an Australian men’s Test side won an Ashes series in England and should Paine’s side avoid a loss at The Oval, the 18-year drought will be snapped.
England will be hoping to extend Australia’s barren run by squaring the ledger at 2-2 to record the first drawn Ashes series in 47 years when England retained the urn with a 2-2 result on home soil.