Injured duo on track to return to full fitness for ODI tri-series in the Caribbean. Confidence is building among Cricket Australia’s medical team that Steve Smith and Mitch Marsh will be fit for next month’s ODI tri-series in the West Indies. Smith and Marsh both headed home at the start of the week, cutting short their time at new Indian Premier League franchise Rising Pune Supergiants.
Smith had been managing an ongoing wrist injury and had been doing it quite well given his final three scores in the competition were 46 not out, 101 and 45. Marsh’s setback was a side strain but scans confirmed it was a minor issue. Both men have been assessed in Australia and ordered to rest. The touring party flies out on May 27, leaving Smith and Marsh with limited time to recover from their respective concerns.
But at this stage both men are expected to take their place in the 16-man squad that will face South Africa and West Indies in the Caribbean. The obvious temptation would be to rest both players from a series that isn’t as important as the ensuing Test tour of Sri Lanka. But coach Darren Lehmann reiterated earlier this year that players wouldn’t be ordered to miss games haphazardly.
“We’ll pick the side to win every series as we normally do,” Lehmann said. Lehmann will temporarily hand the reins over to Justin Langer for the trip, with Cricket Australia (CA) wanting to give the mentor a break from a relentless schedule.
Those members of the ODI squad not taking part in the IPL will head to Brisbane later this month to shake off the rust at CA’s training centre. John Hastings (ankle) and Shaun Marsh (back) both suffered injuries during the IPL and won’t be part of the upcoming tri-series.
Hastings was replaced in the touring party by Victoria teammate Scott Boland, while Marsh wasn’t part of the original squad because of the impending birth of his first child.
Australia squad for the Qantas Tour of the West Indies: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), George Bailey, Scott Boland, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
(Taken from windiescricket.com)