The Courier-Mail

Marsh hits out at loose Aussie bats

- BEN HORNE

ROD Marsh has come out in stri­dent de­fence of his se­lec­tion panel and in­sists “de­plorable” bat­ting was to blame for Aus­tralia’s Ashes dis­as­ter and noth­ing else.

Dar­ren Lehmann has penned an open apol­ogy to Aus­tralian cricket fans over the melt­down in Eng­land. The coach ad­mit­ted se­lec­tors needed to wear some re­spon­si­bil­ity for the tour spi­ralling so badly out of con­trol.

Marsh said he was also pre­pared to cop the crit­i­cism, but can­not un­der­stand what for.

The na­tional se­lec­tor said there was no one else the panel could have picked who would have done a bet­ter job.

“If you have a look at our first-in­nings bat­ting, it’s been de­plorable, it’s all you can say,” Marsh said. “Guys have let them­selves down.

“We’ve got to take some blame (as se­lec­tors), but how the hell do you see that? How do you see some of the best bats­men in the world make no runs in the first in­nings of four Test matches, ba­si­cally.

“It just stag­gered me. Our mid­dle or­der scored no runs and that was the big dif­fer­en­tial.

“If I had my time again, to sit down and choose the bats­men to come to Eng­land, it would have been ex­actly the same.

“I just couldn’t think of any­one else ( who) could have done the job. You’ve got to be held ac­count­able. Fine, I agree with that.

“But I’m just rack­ing my brain to try to think of who else we could have picked. If you blokes want to come up with some sug­ges­tions, I can prob­a­bly ex­plain why we didn’t pick them.

“I’m happy to cop what­ever any­one wants to give me be­cause I know in my mind I spent hours and hours and hours watch­ing Sheffield Shield cricket.

“No se­lec­tion panel can work harder than we worked and we will con­tinue to work.

“There’s not much you can do about it re­ally. We were wal­loped and it hurts like hell.”

Aus­tralia’s bats­men have been called ar­ro­gant for their re­fusal to tem­per nat­u­ral ag­gres­sion in seam­ing English con­di­tions.

Marsh said it would be a dis- grace if bat­ting coach Michael Di Venuto’s po­si­tion came un­der scru­tiny and de­manded the play­ers look at them­selves and be­come more ac­count­able.

“I think the game of cricket is about be­ing ac­count­able your­self,” Marsh said.

“Ev­ery­one says it’s a team game and there’s no doubt about that. But bat­ting in par­tic­u­lar, you can be quite self­ish as a bats­man and still be a hel­luva good team per­son.

“Be­ing self­ish as a bats­man seems to me to be not want­ing to get out and want­ing to oc­cupy the crease longer than any­one else in your team and those things count in Test match cricket.’’

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