Australian batsman Shaun Marsh.
Australian batsman Shaun Marsh. DAVE HUNT

Marsh unlikely to return for Boxing Day Test

CRICKET: Out-of-form left-hander Nic Maddinson seems set for a reprieve, with Cricket Australia's high-performance manager Pat Howard saying Shaun Marsh is "highly unlikely” to be fit for the Boxing Day Test.

Marsh broke his finger against South Africa in Perth last month and had hoped to get a run out for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League on Friday.

But Howard told ABC Radio the 33-year-old was more likely to play in the Scorchers' game after Christmas.

The former Wallaby said if Marsh was not considered to play at the MCG in the second Test against Pakistan, he believed the experienced batsman still had a Test future, despite the selectors' current sway to encouraging youth.

"The great thing about Shaun is that any time we drop him into the team he gets a hundred,” Howard told ABC Radio.

"He's had a history of coming in and making a difference.”

While he gave Marsh encouragement, Howard also had a warning for Maddinson, who has scored just five runs at 1.66 in two Tests.

"On a personal note I would like everyone to do well,” Howard told the ABC.

"But the other thing is there is never the perfect opportunity - I am sure (dumped one-Test batsman) Callum Ferguson would like another.

"You've got to take what is on offer.”