(Reuters) - Australia’s injury woes deepened on Wednesday when all-rounder Mitchell Marsh led a procession of bowlers from the pitch for treatment on a sweltering first day of the second test against India in Brisbane.
Marsh, who took his maiden test wicket in his fourth test when he had Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan caught behind in the morning session, pulled up in pain after bowling his sixth over just a few minutes after the lunch break.
Left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc then needed a break because of the heat and a sore back, while debutant quick Josh Hazlewood was forced to abandon his 16th over late in the day after suffering severe cramp.
Team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said Marsh had suffered a “mild hamstring strain” to his right leg and would almost certainly not bowl for the rest of the match.
“He’s going to have a scan today and hopefully we’ll have him on the field today and hopefully have him batting in some way that’s useful,” he told reporters in Brisbane.
The prognosis for Starc and Hazlewood was better.
“Mitchell Starc, his back was sore and he was getting some rib pain,” he added.
“It’s not a side strain and we don’t think it’s going to be anything that will stop him bowling but we’ll have to have a look at that again but we think he’s going to be able to bowl tomorrow.”
Hazlewood, who took his first two test wickets in the second session, had cramps “all over his body”.
“He just couldn’t function... he’ll recover overnight and we see how he wakes up but we expect he’ll bowl tomorrow,” Kountouris said.
Australia are already without captain Michael Clarke for the rest of the series because of his endemic hamstring problems and pace bowler Ryan Harris for the match because of a thigh strain.
India made the most of the depleted bowling stocks and reached the close of play on 311 for four, a good start to their bid to win a first ever test in Brisbane and level up the series at 1-1.
“Today was a tough day but there’s been a lot of tough days, test cricket is brutally hard,” Kountouris said.
“I think the difficulty today was it was day one. It makes the next four days very long.”
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien