| TRESCOTHICK: Batting not affected
Perth: England’s injury crisis deepened here Friday when punishing opening batsman Marcus Trescothick became the fifth member of the 16-member squad on the casualty list less than two weeks before the first Ashes Test.
As England completed a technical draw — which amounted to a moral defeat — in a two-day match against Western Australia, team management revealed Trescothick has an injured right shoulder.
In the WACA ground warm-up clash, Western Australia slammed 313 for six wickets after dismissing England for a paltry 221 the previous day.
Nineteen-year-old left-hander Shaun Marsh, son of former Australian opener and national coach Geoff Marsh, underscored England’s problems when he hit a blazing 92 from 134 balls laced with 15 sparkling boundaries.
England spokesman Andrew Walpole said Trescothick, 26, from Somerset, was to have a pain-killing injection for the injury, which had been troubling him for some time. “The injury does not affect his batting — only his fielding,” Walpole said.
“He will be available for selection in the side for the three-day match against Western Australia, starting Monday.”
Trescothick’s problem means both England opening batsmen are now under a fitness cloud. His partner, Yorkshire’s Michael Vaughan, is nursing a knee on which he had surgery at the end of the English season.
He is aiming to be fit for England’s final pre-test outing — a three-day hit-out with Queensland in Brisbane from November 2.
There are also major concerns about the fitness of ace fast bowler Darren Gough, allrounder Andrew Flintoff and paceman Simon Jones.
Gough, recovering from knee surgery, is considered a certain non-starter for the opening Test in Brisbane, while Flintoff and Jones are also running out of time. Flintoff flew to Adelaide Friday for specialist treatment following a hernia operation at the end of the English season.
Jones is still bothered by a side injury.
England’s attack Friday was as unimpressive as their batting a day earlier. Pace trio Matthew Hoggard, Steve Harmison and Andy Caddick laboured for two hours as Michael Hussey (48) and Chris Rogers (57) piled on 103 for the state’s first wicket in almost even time.
Then Marsh, not good enough to get a single game with the state Sheffield Shield team last summer, peeled off some breathtaking shots in 173 minutes of left-handed artistry.
Caddick (two for 57) and Hoggard (two for 49) toiled diligently, but without venom, under a hot sun, while Harmison (1-89) had another painful lesson about the importance of accuracy on Australian pitches.
He is still trying to live down his nightmare in the opening game of the tour three days ago when he sent down eight wides — seven from successive balls — during a stint which included 16 wides.