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The Ashes: Aussies facing selection dilemmas

Australia and England will take the opportunity to get some much-needed rest before the fourth Ashes Test and some players will be heading straight to the treatment room.

It has been a hectic start to the Ashes with three Tests played in quick succession and it will have taken its toll on the body.

The series is back in the balance after England won the third Test at Headingley and team selection is going to be vital at Old Trafford.

Australia will need to check on the fitness of a number of key players and two in particular look set to return to the side.

All the noise coming out of the Aussie camp suggests that changes will be made, but a lot can happen before the match gets underway.

Let’s take a look at the latest injury and team news coming out of the Australia camp as they face some big selection dilemmas.

Green in fitness race/Marsh dilemma

Australia were without all-rounder Cameron Green in Leeds as he was struggling with a hamstring niggle.

His replacement Mitchell Marsh did a fine job with the bat when smashing 118 and 28 runs respectively in his two innings.

However, Green is winning the race to make the fourth Test to leave the Aussie selectors with a big selection dilemma.

Speaking after the third Test, Marsh admitted he did not fancy his chances of keeping a returning Green out of the side.

However, there is a case to be made to play both, and it could be something Australia are considering.

Murphy looking vulnerable

One way of fitting both Marsh and Green into the side is by going with an all-pace attack and leave out the spinner.

That of course would be unthinkable if the spinner was Nathan Lyon, but he is already missing with a calf injury.

Todd Murphy came in to replace Lyon at Headingley, and although he was solid enough, he took just the one wicket in two innings.

It would be a gamble as Old Trafford does suit spinners and Australia do like to have a balanced bowling attack.

Warner in danger

Calls are growing for David Warner to be left out of the side and that is another way to accommodate Marsh and Green.

Warner managed just five runs over his two innings at Headingley, and once again his nemesis Stuart Broad got him out on both occasions.

It has kicked off suggestions that Warner could be dropped for the fourth Test, but skipper Pat Cummins has spoken out in support of his under-fire opener.

If Warner keeps his place and comes good, he can be backed at 13.00 to be the Top Batter in the first innings at Old Trafford.

However, if he is left out Travis Head could open the batting and Marsh could take his place in the middle order.

Hazlewood poised to return

Pace bowler Josh Hazlewood looks set to return for the fourth Test after being rested at Headingley.

Scott Boland took his place but the big Victorian has struggled to produce the kind of form he does on home soil.

Boland has taken just two wickets in his two matches, compared to the 12 he took down under, and with Hazlewood back fit and raring to go, a change looks likely.

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