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Australia v India

Ashton Turner called up as cover for ill Mitchell Marsh

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Australia have called up middle-order batsman Ashton Turner for the first one-day international against India on January 12 in Sydney after Mitchell Marsh took ill.

Marsh has spent at least two days in hospital, down with gastritis, and Australia head coach Justin Langer confirmed that he will not take part in the series opener at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Langer praised Turner, whom he worked with in Western Australia, for his ability to finish an innings and also for running between the wickets.

“I remember when Mike Hussey came into Australian cricket, the thing that almost got him a shot in the one-day side was his running between his wickets,” Langer said. “That might sound like the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard but you watch Ashton Turner, the way he runs between wickets is unbelievable. He’s such a great athlete, it puts so much pressure [on the opposition].”

While Turner has played three T20Is for Australia, he has 994 runs from 65 T20s at a strike rate of 138.82. He plays for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League.

Praising the batsman’s finishing skills, Langer said, “He can finish the innings off well, [he’s] an elite athlete in the field and he’s also a captain. You see the way he finishes off an innings that he’s a good thinker of the game like most of the great finishers and a really good leader, good person around the group. Very excited to see him come in.”

The 25-year-old has been in good nick of late, with scores of 43*, 47 and 60* in his last three BBL outings, the most recent of which, an unbeaten 43 off just 22 balls, helped Scorchers beat Melbourne Stars by six wickets on Wednesday.

It hasn’t been the best start to 2019 for Marsh. He was dropped from the Test squad for the two-match series against Sri Lanka and now finds himself in doubt for the remainder of the series as well. Langer was sympathetic, but realistic about where he stood.

“I’ve known them since they were kids, Geoff Marsh (Mitch’s father) is one of my best friends, which makes it hard,” Langer said. “But at the end of the day we all know, the boys know and ‘Swampy’ (Geoff) knows that this is a tough business and if you’re not performing you don’t get selected.”

The remaining two ODIs of the series will be played in Adelaide on January 15 and Melbourne on January 18.

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