Marsh’s dis­missal gives crit­ics am­mu­ni­tion

CRICKET

Kalgoorlie Miner - - SPORT -

Aus­tralia’s crick­et­ing enigma Shaun Marsh has given his de­trac­tors fur­ther am­mu­ni­tion, suc­cumb­ing to a woe­ful dis­missal in the first Test against In­dia.

Marsh fell for two, dis­missed by In­dian off­spin­ner Ravichan­dran Ash­win for the fifth time in Test cricket, when he at­tempted to drive a wide-pitched de­liv­ery and dragged it onto his stumps in the first over af­ter lunch on Thurs­day.

His wicket left Aus­tralia 3-59 on day two in re­sponse to In­dia’s 250.

Marsh, thrust into the role of se­nior bats­man along­side Us­man Khawaja in the ab­sence of Steve Smith and David Warner, had tuned up for the Test se­ries with scores of 80, 98, 163 not out and 81 among six Sh­effield Shield in­nings.

But his cheap dis­missal at Adelaide Oval, which is cer­tain to em­bolden his many vo­cal crit­ics, re­in­forces the enor­mous and frus­trat­ing gulf be­tween his best and worst.

The left-han­der’s high­est score from his past 13 Test in­nings is 40 and his six con­sec­u­tive sin­gle-fig­ure scores are the most for any Aus­tralian bat­ting in the top five since 1888.

A ner­vous starter be­yond com­pare, Marsh av­er­ages al­most 60 when he passes 10 but a re­mark­able 26 of his 62 Test dis­missals, in­clud­ing eight this year, have been in sin­gle fig­ures.

Marsh struck ca­reer-best form last sum­mer, scor­ing a man-of-the­match cen­tury that de­liv­ered Aus­tralia a 2-0 se­ries lead and plun­der­ing more Ashes runs than any bats­man bar Steve Smith.

But he was a non-fac­tor in South Africa and made just 14 runs at an av­er­age of 3.5 in the two-Test se­ries against Pak­istan in the UAE in Oc­to­ber.

“Shock­ing shot from Shaun Marsh,” for­mer Test opener Si­mon Katich said while com­men­tat­ing on SEN ra­dio.

“He’ll be feel­ing the pres­sure . . . he knows he didn’t make any runs in the UAE.

“It’s a tough sit­u­a­tion . . . he’s done all he pos­si­bly can lead­ing into the Test (by scor­ing runs in the Sh­effield Shield).”

Pic­ture: AAP/Dave Hunt

Shaun Marsh leaves the field af­ter be­ing dis­missed by Ravichan­dran Ash­win for two runs on day two of the first Test match be­tween Aus­tralia and In­dia at the Adelaide Oval.

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