Mitchell Marsh, Australia’s limited overs series skipper against South Africa, has admitted that uncapped bowler Spencer Johnson will make his debut. Mitchell Starc was out of the ODI team with a groin issue, so the left-arm bowler who shined in The Hundred was selected.
Johnson is not in Australia’s provisional team for the 50-over World Cup in India later this year, but the final roster is due in a few weeks.
Johnson has been injured throughout his career since his 2017 List A debut for South Australia. He has only played 4 FC, 6 List A, and 16 Twenty20 games since his 2023 first-class and Twenty20 debuts. On his Oval Invincible debut against the Manchester Originals in The Hundred this season, he bowled 20-19-1-3.
“We’ve got an extended squad, we’ve got some young guys coming in, which is really exciting, seeing guys like Spencer Johnson, he’ll definitely get a crack,” Marsh said Tuesday. Why haven’t we seen him much? His career has been plagued by ailments, and he emerged last year.
I remember commentating a game where he bowled 150kph and swung both directions. His talent is tremendous. I was blown away by his talent and pace in the WACA one-day final. He’ll fit in well in international cricket.”
Australia’s limited-overs tour of South Africa begins on August 30 with a three-match Twenty20 International series and five One-Day Internationals. Johnson is one of four uncapped players. Marsh said that Australia’s World Cup provisional roster of 18 players, Tanveer Sangha and Aaron Hardie, will make their ODI debuts against South Africa.
The leg-spinner, who played in Australia’s 2021 T20I tour of New Zealand, missed last season due to a stress fracture. He joins Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar as the third frontline spinner.
Hardie, though, dominated the Big Bash League in runs scored last season and was promoted to Australia A.
“Think we’ll definitely get a look at them both at some point throughout the tour,” Marsh added. “I like seeing guys rewarded for performance. Tanveer has experienced injury issues in the last six months, but we know his talent. Over the following few years, we’ll see them in Australian colors and in South Africa.
“Tanveer is a smart young bowler. I’ve heard he’s a good bowler who just bowls. Great talent. We’ve seen in the Big Bash and first-class cricket that some kids are great bowlers. One of them is him. Just waiting for him to get his chance.”
Captain Marsh replaced Pat Cummins after his injury recovery. Mitchell Starc and Steve Smith have also been given time to recover from physical issues. Marsh, whose batting form has improved across all three formats, is being considered for full-time white-ball captaincy. His preference is not to look ahead.
“Hopefully I’m a good captain, or I won’t be here long. I’m just excited for the chance, he remarked. Get across South Africa and see how we go. I can captain as long as the team needs me. Will see how it ends.”
Smith’s wrist injury at Lord’s Test
Steve Smith revealed on Tuesday that he injured his wrist in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s but played the next three games.
Smith’s left wrist tendon tear requires a splint, ruling him out of the South Africa tour. He expects to be ready for the three-match ODI series against India before the World Cup this year.
I did it at God’s. Smith told Fox Cricket, “I don’t know the moment, it was in the field.” “That night I thought, ‘geez, what have I done here, it’s a bit sore’.
“I played the next game and had a cortisone injection before Old Trafford. I returned to Australia and said, It’s still not right. I still can’t do many things well.
It was another scan. There was a little tendon tear and other issues.”