Australia vs South Africa: Hosts include Ben McDermott as cover for Shaun Marsh in ODI squad

McDermott made his international debut last month in the UAE.

Ben McDermott
Ben McDermott. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Australia have brought in young batsman Ben McDermott to their squad as cover for Shaun Marsh ahead of Friday’s second ODI against South Africa in Adelaide. The left-handed Marsh is currently recovering from a minor surgery and might not be able to take the field on Friday. Marsh missed the first ODI in Perth on Sunday after requiring an operation to remove an abscess from his lower back.

D’Arcy Short was tasked with replacing Marsh at No.3, but he was dismissed for a second-ball duck as Australia were bundled out for a paltry 152. Australia ended up losing the first game at Perth by 6 wickets as South Africa were able to canter to victory with more than 20 overs to spare.

McDermott will give Australia more batting options

Australia’s chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said McDermott’s inclusion was to give more batting options to Aaron Finch’s side, in such a case where Marsh is unavailable for selection on Friday. “Part of the decision to include Ben is to ensure we have appropriate coverage should Shaun Marsh fail to recover in time for Friday’s second ODI. We will continue to monitor Shaun’s progress and give him every opportunity to prove his fitness ahead of the match,” Hohns was quoted as saying in Daily Hunt.

McDermott, 23, made his international debut last month in the UAE playing all four T20Is against the UAE and Pakistan. He was run out in all three of the matches against Pakistan. The power hitter failed to deliver big as was expected of him, finishing with scores of 10* against the UAE, and 0, 3, and 21 against Pakistan.

The Brisbane-born cricketer was the second leading run-scorer in last month’s JLT Cup, with only Chris Lynn ahead of him. He piled up 427 runs at a spectacular average of 71.16, striking the ball at 90.27. Opening the batting for Tasmania, McDermott also notched up two centuries and two half-centuries in seven matches.

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