Reports: Shaun Marsh could miss first Ashes Test
What's the story?
Shaun Marsh simply can't seem to catch a break. After being criticised for his inclusion in the Ashes squad, the southpaw, who was expected to start the opener against England at the Gabba might miss out as he is reportedly suffering a back problem.
The 34-year-old left-hander looked set to make another comeback to the Test side but a sore back has his spot in the side in doubt. This comes hot on the heels of another Australian batsman, David Warner, suffered a neck injury heading into the Ashes. While the Australian vice-captain is expected to play, Marsh's position is not so certain.
Glenn Maxwell has been included in the squad as cover for both the left-handers for the first Ashes Test that begins tomorrow.
In case you didn't know...
Shaun Marsh's inclusion in the Test squad ahead of young Matthew Renshaw and the likes of Jake Weatherald and all-rounders Hilton Cartwright and Mitchell Marsh has drawn plenty of criticism from plenty of fans. However, the southpaw seems to have the backing of most of the former Australian players, who have made a case for his inclusion in the squad.
The heart of the matter
Despite making his Test debut in 2011, Marsh has played just 23 Tests and has consistently been in and out of the side. His latest recall to the Test side was his eighth comeback and his inability to nail down a position both due to injuries and lack of runs on a consistent basis is a concern for Australia, especially when they have put a lot of faith in him.
With the Ashes set to begin in less than 24 hours, it remains to be seen if Shaun Marsh's sore back is a problem that will keep him out of the first Test. If it does, Glenn Maxwell looks set to step into the side and fill the No.6 spot.
Much has been made about Shaun Marsh's latest comeback, especially given his inability to hold a place down in the side despite the numerous chances that he has been afforded. One point that is often held against him is his injury record, which is far from impressive and his seemingly inevitable breakdown has occurred far too often for it to be a mere coincidence. The latest one might even be a blessing in disguise for Australia, if Maxwell can come in and play a counterattacking knock in the middle-order and contribute a few overs with the ball as well.