Marsh a doubt for Cape Town

13 March 2018 01:40:54 EST

All-rounder Mitchell Marsh could miss Australia's third Test match against South Africa in Cape Town due to a groin strain.

The second Test in Port Elizabeth was an unhappy one all round for Marsh, who also suffered a gastro bug and was given a code-of-conduct charge for swearing at Kagiso Rabada after the paceman dismissed him.

He was fined 20 per cent of his match fee and given one demerit point for that incident, but it's his groin injury that is the more serious concern ahead of the next Test on Thursday week in Cape Town.

It could even things out between the teams, with the Proteas having lost man-of-the-match Rabada to a two-Test ban.

He was cited for two incidents in the home side's six-wicket victory, for making physical contact with Steve Smith on day one and for screaming in the face of David Warner during a send-off on day three.

Rabada bowled the Proteas to a series-levelling victory, snaring figures of 11-150 but will miss the remainder of the series.

If Marsh is unfit for the Cape Town clash, Australia could opt to bring in Peter Handscomb who is the reserve batsman in the squad, or summon a like-for-like cover player for Marsh, such as Marcus Stoinis.

Marsh, who has picked up three clutch wickets in the two games so far, has also been in form with the bat. His knock of 96 in the first Test set the platform for Australia's 118-run win, while his resistance late on day three of the second Test helped give the tourists some hope of setting a stiff target.

The 26-year-old is Australia's second-highest run-scorer in the current series.

Captain Smith said of him: "He's got a bit of a groin strain, so he was struggling to move a little bit. It's a good break between now and the next Test match and he's telling me he'll be fine, but we'll wait and see how things go."

Australia are 7/1 to win the Test series, with the draw 6/4 and hosts South Africa 5/6.

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