'He does not deserve the right to come in'

Former Australia fast bowler Rodney Hogg has taken aim at national selectors for overlooking Glenn Maxwell in favour of Mitchell Marsh.

 

The oft-maligned Marsh has been mostly underwhelming with bat and ball in 21 Tests dating back to 2014.

The 26-year-old was forced home midway through the tour of India earlier this year to undergo shoulder surgery, but is now back bowling off his long run-up.

A recent Sheffield Shield knock of 141 batting at No.4 for WA clearly impressed the Australian selectors, who included him in the 13-man Test squad in place of swing bowler Chadd Sayers.

Hogg believes Maxwell has done more than enough to warrant a recall ahead of Marsh, on the back of his commanding knock of 96 for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield this week and his sublime 278 against NSW.

"It's a kick in the butt for Maxwell," Hogg said on SEN radio.

"He went away, flew up to Brisbane (following David Warner's 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'.

Hogg reckons Maxwell (R) was unlucky to be overlooked for Marsh (L). Pic: Getty

"[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.

Hogg does concede however, that Marsh offers an important extra bowling option to help take the stress off Australia's pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.

"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."

"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."

Mitch Marsh. Pic: Getty

Australia is expected to name an unchanged side for the third Test, although Marsh is an option to replace Peter Handscomb, especially if the selectors decide they need a fourth pace bowling option at the WACA.

"I'm feeling really confident in my game at the moment so it's a great feeling," Marsh told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.

"As an allrounder in the Australian team with our attack I'm obviously not going to be bowling 30 to 40 overs a game.

"But I've worked hard over the last eight months to get my body into a position where I'm now playing again as an allrounder so that's really exciting."

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