Harsh Brisbane sun grinds out Starc, Marsh and Johnson

Harsh Brisbane sun grinds  out Starc, Marsh and Johnson

On an extraordinary day of Test cricket, Australia were left grappling for resources with their bowlers struggling to cope with soaring temperatures at the Gabba.

Mitchell Marsh has been ruled out from bowling for the remainder of the match after the all-rounder sustained a hamstring niggle on his right leg. Marsh isn’t the only worry for Australia, though. Mitchell Starc was hurting in his ribs while debutant Josh Hazlewood suffered cramps. Though Mitchell Johnson appeared to be least bothered, he was having issues with his lower back.

Australia’s team physio Alex Kountouris, however, assured that Starc and Hazlewood will be able to bowl on Thursday.

"He's got a mild low-grade hamstring strain on his right leg," Kountouris said of Marsh. "He's had surgery on the left leg a year ago and he's also injured the right one maybe two years ago. This is a mild injury. He's going to have a scan today and we'll try to get him on the field tomorrow and hopefully have him batting in some way if that's useful."

Marsh's injury, which came after he finally claimed his first Test wicket in the morning session, meant a greater bowling workload for the side's other all-rounder Shane Watson. The injury-prone Watson was one of the few fit members of the attack on day one and he had to complete Hazlewood's 16th over, with the second new ball, just before stumps. Hazlewood, who had managed to pull through after cramps earlier in the day, eventually walked off towards close unable to complete his 16th over after the problem cropped up again.

"He had cramps all over his body, so it wasn't just one place," Kountouris said of Hazlewood.

"Typically when they cramp they cramp in their calf or their hamstring or something and they tend to get on with it. The difficulty with him is he was cramping everywhere. It was both calves, both hamstrings, groins, hips, he just couldn't function.

"You could see his pace was down when he came back and bowled and he showed some courage to do that because he was really struggling. Every ball he bowled he was cramping up in multiple places. He will recover overnight and we'll see how he wakes up tomorrow. We expect him to be bowling tomorrow."

Shedding light on Starc’s injury, Kountouris said: "His back was sore, he's also getting some rib pain. I haven't had a chance to fully assess that, it is not a side strain and we don't think it is anything that is going to stop him bowling but we'll have to look at it tonight. But we think he is going to be able to bowl tomorrow."

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