Chris Rogers remains the only uncertainty in Australia’s plans for the Third Test at Edgbaston on Wednesday, with wicketkeeper Peter Nevill and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh both strengthening their positions as the tourists’ three-day match against Derbyshire ended in a draw.
Nevill, who made his debut in Australia’s mammoth second Test victory at Lord’s after Brad Haddin dropped out for “family reasons”, kept the gloves for the whole of the county side’s one innings, while Haddin was given no time behind the stumps.
Marsh, the man in possession of the all-rounder’s place after Shane Watson was axed, took four for 41, an impressive first spell yielding three wickets for nine runs in 19 balls as he sliced through Derbyshire’s middle order with his right-arm medium pace. His elder brother, Shaun, is in line for his Ashes debut should Rogers be ruled out. The 37-year-old rejoined the squad yesterday, having remained in London for specialist physiotherapy after a blow to the head inflicted by a James Anderson bouncer during the second Test caused damage to his balance system, resulting in dizzy spells.
Rogers, who was Derbyshire’s captain from 2008 to 2010, underwent a light training session before carrying the drinks during play. Team doctor Peter Brukner said: “Chris will continue to increase his level of activity over the next couple of days and will be closely monitored by team medical staff.”
The tourists spent two thirds of yesterday fielding after an eighth-wicket stand of 105 from seamer Tony Palladino and spinner David Wainwright before Derbyshire were bowled out for 259. Palladino made 82, hitting leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed for four sixes.
Australia’s captain Michael Clarke, who has been struggling for runs, promoted himself to open after deciding against enforcing the follow-on. He made 44 not out, although he was dropped behind the stumps on 19 off Will Davis, the teenage fast bowler who dismissed him for 16 in the first innings.
* Mark Wood has warned Chris Rogers to expect no mercy from England’s pacemen if the Australia opener is passed fit for Wednesday’s Third Test.
Rogers sustained a vestibular injury – impairing his balance – after being struck on the head by a James Anderson short ball in the Second Test at Lord’s.
But Wood said: “If he declares himself fit for the next game, that will not deter me from bowling a bouncer. I’m sure that the rest of our lads will be the same.”
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- Mark Wood
- Peter Brukner
- Fawad Ahmed