Australia were today dealt a blow as their all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will not bowl again in the remainder of the second cricket Test against India due to a hamstring injury on the first day at the Gabba.
Marsh strained his right hamstring and limped off the field just moments after lunch on a searingly hot day that left Australia severely under-resourced.
Marsh grimaced and pulled up short in his follow after delivering the final ball of his first over after lunch, and his sixth of the innings, and immediately left the field to be assessed.
Team physio Alex Kountouris later said Marsh was unlikely to bowl again in the Test.
“Mitchell Marsh has got a mild hamstring strain, low grade strain, on the right leg. He’s had surgery on the left leg a year ago and he also injured the right one about two years ago,” Kountouris told reporters.
“He’s unlikely he will bowl again (in the Test). He will have a scan and we will try to get him on the field tomorrow and hopefully have him batting in some way that’s useful.”
Marsh’s injury, which came after he finally claimed his first Test wicket in the morning session, meant a greater bowling workload for the side’s other all-rounder Shane Watson.
The injury-prone Watson was one of the few fit members of the attack on day one and he had to complete Hazlewood’s 16th over, with the second new ball, just before stumps.
Kountouris was busy attending one Australian bowler after another through the day, with Mitchell Johnson the only one of the four main seamers to get through unscathed.
Mitchell Starc left the field during the middle session after struggling with back and rib pain and debutant Josh Hazlewood battled cramps that forced him from the field shortly before stumps. However, both Starc and Hazlewood are expected to be available to bowl on day two tomorrow.
Hazlewood had cramped earlier in the day but after some stretches and attention from the physio, completed his over. However, when the problem again arose two balls into a new spell he could not continue.
“His (Starc) back was sore and he was getting some rib pain. It’s not a side strain and we don’t think it’s anything that will stop him bowling. We think he’s going to be okay to bowl tomorrow,” Kountouris said.
The team physio said Hazlewood, playing in his debut Test, was troubled by cramps during the scorching conditions.
“He had cramps all over his body. The difficulty with him was that he was cramping everywhere. Both calves, both hamstrings, groin, hips, he couldn’t just function and you could see his pace was down when he came back to bowl again,” he said.
“He will recover overnight and we’ll see how he is in the morning.”
Looking ahead to the next Test, starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day, Kountouris said experienced paceman Ryan Harris was working towards being fit to play after missing the Brisbane Test.
“Harris is a chance for the next Test. He has a low-grade quad strain and we need him to be bowling by the end of this Test match — and if he can get to that, we’ll be confident of him playing in the next game. It’s going to be touch and go,” he said.