Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ashes 2023: There are positions for both of them now, says Fleming on playing Green and Marsh in the eleven

Former Australia fast-bowler Damien Fleming believes selectors could opt to have both pace all-rounders Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh in the playing eleven for the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

With Australia losing third Test at Leeds by three wickets, the attention has moved quickly towards their make-up of the playing eleven for Old Trafford. Marsh, playing in his first Test match since 2019, made a stunning 118 on day one at Headingley and picked some crucial scalps too as Green sat out due to a hamstring strain.

“The team balance will be the question going in. I still think there are positions for both of them (Marsh and Green) now, but that means that there’s going to have to be a squeeze up the top,” said Fleming to SEN Radio.

The loss at Leeds has put spotlight on veteran opener David Warner’s position in the playing eleven. Warner made only four and one while being dismissed on both occasions by Stuart Broad, who has now taken him out 17 times in Test cricket.

“David Warner failed to (Stuart) Broad twice this Test match, but he had a brilliant Lord’s Test match, he batted really well. He was a significant contributor to us winning that, and I tend to give older players at least a two-Test buffer, so I was always going to give him another Test. If England think, ‘We’re 2-1 down now, so we need to win’, the pitch conditions may contribute to that,” added Fleming.

Fleming believes that if conditions present at Leeds were to be found in Manchester, Australia could bring in Green for off-spinner Todd Murphy.

“Young Todd Murphy wasn’t a factor and really a pitch, and then the match situation didn’t dictate him bowling too much, although I would have bowled him earlier today to get him into the game and see what happened. But if it’s going to be a bowl of fast bowling, friendly pitch, you know, we could go in without a spinner and play the two all-rounders.”

After the game ended, Marsh had ruled out the chance of him and Green playing in the eleven together. “I don’t think there is. Unfortunately there’s not, that’s all right. I don’t want to comment on it too much. Ultimately that stuff is out of my control. I’ve got a very, very close relationship with ‘Greeny’.”

“He’s a fantastic young kid. He’s learning on the go and we know what a super talent he is. It’s important for him to be in our side. We’ve seen how important he is for our side over the last couple of years. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Skipper Pat Cummins also admitted selectors now have a headache in picking playing eleven for the Manchester Test. Yes (Green and Marsh together) could be (an option) for sure. We’ll take a deep breath and come back in a few days and kind of assess where everyone’s at.”

“But the way Mitch played, it’s hard to leave him out, it’s hard to leave Greeny out. You look at the other batters, and they’ve all performed, so it’s hard to leave anyone else out, so we’ll work it out. I guess it’s a good problem for the selectors to have.”

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