Dropping a big selection hint for the Boxing Day Test against India, Australian coach Justin Langer believes all-rounder Mitchell Marsh could prove to be an "attractive commodity" at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) which has a history of pushing the endurance of bowlers to the limit.
It is yet to be decided as to who out of Marsh and Peter Handscomb will be picked for the third clash between the two sides. However, Langer gave a strong hint of roping in the Western Australia skipper after he missed the side's opening two Tests.
"In a perfectly balanced side, you've got someone who can bowl some overs.And Mitch becomes an attractive commodity on a wicket (that) unlike Adelaide and Perth … although there's a bit of moisture in it, we also know the history of it," cricket.com.au quoted Langer as saying.
Langer further said that the decision of whom to select between Handscomb and Marsh is quite a hard one while mockingly adding that it has also taken his attention off more important things.
"Pete's a very good player of spin bowling … and Mitch is a pretty good player of spin bowling too.We'll weigh up all those things, and they're the hard decisions. All those factors, trust me, we think about it," Langer said.
"It's a bit sad, really; I'm not thinking about what Christmas present I'm going to give to my kids, I'm thinking about who plays spin better, whether we'll play the extra bowler, how many overs have the fast bowlers bowled. It's sad," he added
The coach further said that his side's bowlers have been quite lucky in the series so far as they have bowled relatively less overs than the visitors' bowling attack.
"Our fast bowlers have been lucky, we've bowled less overs than India's bowlers at the moment, particularly (Jasprit) Bumrah, and that's an important part of the series," Langer pointed out.
In case the Boxing Day Test runs for full five days, the two sides will get just three days to rest before the fourth and the final Test of the series, beginning January 3 in Sydney.
Talking about the same, Langer admitted that two back-to-back matches would definitely be tough, but added that the team are just focussing on the upcoming match at the moment.
"With the schedule, you're always looking at this Test but you're always looking ahead.We're always looking at how we're trying to manage it.In this instance, this is the only Test we're thinking about. But we're always aware that there's two back-to-back Test matches, which is tough," he said.
The Test series is currently levelled at 1-1, with India winning the opening Test by 31 runs at Adelaide Oval before Australia bouncing back to clinch a huge 146-run win in Perth.