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‘Nobody else in Australia can do that’

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 04: Mitchell Marsh of Western Australia appeals unsuccessfully during day two of the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 4, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 04: Mitchell Marsh of Western Australia appeals unsuccessfully during day two of the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and Western Australia at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 4, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)

AUSTRALA'S puzzling decision to recall Mitchell Marsh for the third Test has been met with mixed reviews to say the least.

The 26-year-old, who was dropped during Australia's tour of India this year, replaced Redbacks paceman Chadd Sayers in the squad for the WACA Test as Australia guns to seal the Ashes before Christmas.

The decision to recall Marsh, who registers a 21.74 average with the bat from 21 matches, to the order over Victorian firebrand Glenn Maxwell has left fans and former greats scratching their heads.

Maxwell has performed out of his skin for the Bushrangers after being denied a starting spot in the Aussies' Ashes squad for the first two Tests, scoring a mammoth 278 against NSW before hitting 96 in Melbourne this week.

Former Aussie fast bowler Rodney Hogg shed light onto the polarising situation which sees the worst performing No. 6 in Test match history snag an Ashes spot over the 29-year-old Maxwell.

"It's a kick in the butt for Maxwell," Hogg said on SEN Thursday. "He went away, flew up to Brisbane (after a David Warner injury scare), comes back and makes 250 for Victoria, so he said to the selectors 'you've made a good decision to take me up there ... I'm now a very good first-class player'.

Ya jokin’.
Ya jokin’.

"[Marsh] has got a Test average of 21. He does not deserve the right to come in ... I can't believe that.

"He hasn't knocked the door down with the bat. He's played in five first class games and made over 45 twice. He hasn't knocked and said 'I wasn't good enough for those 21 Test matches, I've gone away and improved'. I don't think he has."

Marsh scored a century against Queensland late last month but has failed to set the world alight with his bowling with best figures of 2/49 from five matches this summer.

Despite taking the polarising West Australian to the cleaners, the did admit one thing the all-rounder had over the rest of the country.

"We have got one glaring little weakness," Hogg said. "If one of our bowlers breaks down in a game, we haven't got the fifth bowler at all. You'll start to look pretty stupid if a bowler breaks down early in a game.

"That's why we're always searching for the fifth bowler and there's nobody here in Australia who can do it apart from Marsh. But having said that, he's not allowed to bat at six because of his average. If he comes into the side, (Tim) Paine needs to come up to six and Cummins or Marsh at seven."

Topics:  ashes glenn maxwell mitch marsh

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