Shane Warne wants Marsh in and Handscomb out.
Shane Warne wants Marsh in and Handscomb out.

Warne mocked for Ashes brain fade

SHANE Warne has been mocked for his take on what Australia needs to change ahead of the third Ashes Test in Perth starting on Thursday.

Despite being 2-0 up in the series not everything is rosy for Steve Smith's men. Most worrying is the form of Peter Handscomb, who has scores of 14, 36 and 12 so far.

He was all over the shop in the second innings in Adelaide. Jimmy Anderson beat his outside edge at will as the right-hander crabbed across his crease rather than getting forward.

Mitchell Marsh has been called into the squad ahead of the next Test, prompting speculation the all-rounder will return to the international fold for the first time since the tour of India in March at Handscomb's expense.

Perth is no longer the fast, bouncy track it once was and the likelihood of encountering a flat wicket may convince selectors to bring Marsh back so Smith has a fifth bowling option at his disposal.

On Twitter on Monday Warne said Handscomb needs to go back to Sheffield Shield cricket "urgently" to work on his technical deficiencies, leaving the door open for Marsh to wear the baggy green again.


But as those in the Twittersphere pointed out, the big flaw in Warne's plan is the next round of Shield matches doesn't start until February 8.

The four-day competition will take a breather for a couple of months as players take part in the seventh instalment of the Big Bash League (BBL). The T20 tournament kicks off on December 19 and doesn't conclude until the final is played on February 4.

So as much as Warne might want Handscomb to find his feet again for Victoria, that's not going to happen anytime soon.


Marsh is still building up to full fitness following a shoulder reconstruction earlier this year, and former Australian fast bowler Rodney Hogg questioned how fit the 26-year-old really is.

"How well do we know his bowling? He shouldn't have been selected. They should have waited a lot longer," Hogg said on SEN Breakfast.

"It's not fair on Handscomb and at the same time do we know if his (Marsh's) shoulder is OK to bowl?"

Marsh returned to the bowling crease earlier than expected and has sent down 22 overs in his past two Shield games.

When asked about Marsh's chances of earning a call-up, Australia coach Darren Lehmann replied: "The wicket will determine that.

"They said it's going to have some pace and bounce in it, a bit like the old WACA.

"Again, we'll just have to wait and see. It's pretty hot this week so we'll have a better idea probably on Tuesday or Wednesday of what we're going to go with.

"We'll have a look and make sure everyone's pulled up alright and how the bowlers are and then make a call from there.

"We just want to have the ability to get 20 wickets. So if the three (pacemen) and Nathan (Lyon) can do that, so be it."

- with AAP