Mitchell Marsh faces a race to be in contention for the first Test against Pakistan next month after scans revealed he suffered a fractured hand after punching the dressing room wall at the WACA on Sunday.
Marsh’s outburst came following his dismissal for 53 in the opening over of the final day of the Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania when he drove a return catch to Jackson Bird. That followed a dragged-on pull in the first innings.
While the exact length of Marsh’s lay-off is still to be confirmed it would appear unlikely he can stake a claim to be retained for the Gabba Test which starts on November 21 following his Ashes recall last month.
He was given a public dressing down by Western Australia coach Adam Voges on Monday.
“It’s disappointing that any Western Australian player has subjected himself to potentially missing games of cricket because of a moment of madness, particularly your captain,” Voges told reporters. “It’s not appropriate from any Western Australian cricketer, let alone the skipper.”
While the injury is a dent in Marsh’s international hopes, in the more immediate term it is a headache for Western Australia who lose their captain ahead of their second Sheffield Shield match against Victoria on Friday.
“We understand the frustrations that come from high-profile and high-performance sport but, look, he needs to be better,” Voges said. “Mitch is a good person. This is one moment of frustration that hopefully doesn’t cost him a long period out of the game, but it might do, and it’s something that he needs to address.”
Marsh was recalled to the Test team for the final match of the Ashes and responded with his maiden five-wicket haul, though he was far from certain to be retained at the start of the home season. However, a strong all-round showing in the Sheffield Shield matches over the next month would have put him in a strong position, with Australia keen to have an allrounder in the side to take the pressure off their three-pronged pace attack.