MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia batsman Shaun Marsh is hopeful of playing in the second one-day international against South Africa on Friday after having surgery on an abscess on his buttock, team mate Alex Carey said on Wednesday.
Marsh missed the six-wicket thrashing by South Africa in the series-opener in Perth on Sunday due to the problem, with Ben McDermott brought into the squad as cover.
“He is pretty positive that he’ll be right for Friday,” vice-captain Carey told reporters in Adelaide.
“Shaun obviously (in the) 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.”
Australia were skittled for 152 by South Africa’s formidable attack and slumped to their 17th defeat in 19 matches, raising alarm bells only seven months out from their World Cup defence in England.
The team has also had to battle distractions caused by a scathing cultural review into Cricket Australia commissioned in the wake of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
Cricket pundits have lined up to put the boot into Aaron Finch’s team and their brittle batting order, but Carey said the side were primed to turn a corner.
“We’re really confident still, obviously the conditions were quite tough over there (in Perth) but that’s no excuse,” said the wicketkeeper-batsman.
“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.”
Australia went with a four-pronged pace attack in Perth but it was unable to do much to halt South Africa’s charge to victory, and the hosts are likely to bring in a spinner for Adelaide.
South Australia legspinner Adam Zampa will be a chance to bowl on his home wicket if selectors overlook left-arm spinner Ashton Agar.
“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,” said Carey.
“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.”
Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford