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Australia

With eye on workloads, Paine brings in Mitchell Marsh

Aus v Ind, 3rd Test, news

The inclusion of Mitchell Marsh for the third Test against India would not affect Australia's winning momentum; in fact, it would help take some load off the bowlers in a long and tough series, Tim Paine, the captain, has said.

Marsh, the all-rounder, who had been left out of the Tests in Adelaide and Perth, returns to the side in place of Peter Handscomb for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, with the series level at 1-1.

"It's a long series, our bowlers have had a really big workload and we feel we're going to need Mitch's bowling at some point," Paine told reporters on Tuesday, the eve of the Test.

"The majority of this decision's been based around [the fact that] it's a long series, we've played on a lot of hot days and our bowlers have had a big workload. We believe Mitch can come in and do a really good job with the bat and obviously he'll give great support to our bowlers."

On Monday, coach Justin Langer had hinted at this change in the team composition, calling the all-rounder an "attractive commodity".

Handscomb, meanwhile, has struggled through the series with scores of 34, 14, 7 and 13. Yet, Paine insisted, the doors were not completely closed on him and he could well be back for the final Test in Sydney in the new year. 

"I'm sure Pete would be upset. I think he's had conversations with the selectors that there's a few things they would like him to work on and Pete is open to that," the captain said.

"Pete at his best is going to score a lot of Test runs and not just his batting, he brings a hell of a lot to our side in terms of his fielding, his experience and just the way he generally goes about his cricket.

"Going to Sydney, a place where it normally spins, I think people come back into the fold pretty quickly because he's renowned as probably our best player of spin. I know he'll be doing everything he can to get back into the side."

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