Carey confident of Marsh return for second ODI
Australia batsman Shaun Marsh. (Getty Image)

Australia vice-captain Alex Carey is optimistic that Shaun Marsh will be fit for their second ODI against South Africa on Friday. Marsh, who had a terrible outing against Pakistan in the UAE, was ruled out of the first ODI against South Africa on Sunday due to a buttock abscess which required a minor surgery. Australia were bowled out for 147 during the first ODI at Perth and Marsh’s return should bolster the side considering he scored two centuries against England earlier this year.

“He is pretty positive that he’ll be right for Friday,” Carey told reporters on Wednesday. “Shaun obviously last series over in England was sensational, he scored two hundreds for us. So for SOS (Marsh) to come in at three and probably play a bit of an anchor role around some of those top order explosive players … it’s a little bit of stability up the top, hopefully.”

South Africa beat Australia by six wickets on Sunday, inflicting the seventh straight ODI defeat on the home team this year. Their defeat was also their 17 out of the last 19 games. While plenty has been spoken about Australia, the World Champions, being on the verge of losing the position they once held in international cricket, Carey feels the loss hasn’t punctured the morale of the side and that they are aiming to hit back hard at South Africa on Friday.

“We’re really confident still, obviously the conditions were quite tough over there but that’s no excuse,” Carey said. “The work we’re doing off the field with JL (coach Justin Langer) and the players coming in, we’re doing so much good stuff and it’s going to start to show. We’re really confident that its going to turn really soon.

“We don’t feel under pressure internally … we obviously want to win, that’s what we’re playing for. I guess the pressure is to maybe start performing but what we’re doing away from game day is sensational, so it’s going to turn really quickly.”

Carey also hinted that Australia might ring in a couple of changes by bringing legspinner Adam Zampa and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar in the mix. Zampa was backed by former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson to be included in the team for the first ODI but Australia had no place for either him or Agar. Carey however, feels that Zampa will be a good addition, considering he will be playing in his hometown of Adelaide.

“In all short formats, spin is a key contributor,” Carey said. “If it’s Zampa, if it’s Agar, if it’s the same four quicks, I definitely think we have got the bowling attack to go through South Africa. Obviously the batters, hopefully, get a few more runs on the board. But Adam Zampa (on his) home deck, I’m sure he’s really excited and hopeful to be in the side.”