Mitchell Marsh replaces Peter Handscomb for Melbourne Test

Dubai: Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has returned to the squad ahead of the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Marsh, who had been dropped of the first two Tests in Adelaide and Perth, has replaced wicket-keeper batsman Peter Handscomb, International Cricket Council (ICC) reported.

“It is a long series, our bowlers have had a really big workload and we feel we are going to need (Mitchell) Mitch’s bowling at some point,” skipper Tim Paine said.

Earlier on Monday, Coach Justin Langer had hinted at this change in the team composition, calling Marsh “an attractive commodity” on Melbourne’s wicket, unlike Adelaide and Perth.

“The majority of this decision has been based around the fact that it is a long series, we have played on a lot of hot days and our bowlers have had a big workload. We believe Mitch can come in and do a really good job with the bat and obviously he will give great support to our bowlers,” Paine added.

Handscomb struggled through the series with scores of 34, 14, 7 and 13. However, Australian skipper insisted that the doors are not completely closed on him and he could come back for the final Test in Sydney.

“I am sure Pete (Peter Handscomb) would be upset. I think he has had conversations with the selectors that there are a few things they would like him to work on and Pete is open to that. Pete at his best is going to score a lot of Test runs and not just his batting, he brings a hell of a lot to our side in terms of his fielding, his experience and just the way he generally goes about his cricket,” the skipper said.

“Going to Sydney, a place where it normally spins, I think people come back into the fold pretty quickly because he has renowned as probably our best player of spin. I know he will be doing everything he can to get back into the side,” he concluded.

With the series level at 1-1, India and Australia will play their third Test from December 26 to 30 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.