Shaun Marsh has been undergoing a torrid time in Tests in 2018. His performances in the last two series in South Africa and Pakistan have increased the pressure on the left-hander and there have been several calls from the Australian media to sack Marsh for his consistently poor show. A failure in the first innings in Adelaide against the Indian cricket team only increased the volume. However, in the second innings, Marsh has redeemed himself somewhat by getting a huge monkey off his back as Australia looked to stay afloat in their pursuit of 323 against Virat Kohli’s side on a wearing Adelaide Oval wicket.
When Marsh steered Ravichandran Ashwin to the third man fence, he registered his first double digit score in nine months in Tests. His previous instance was in the first innings of the Johannesburg Test in March 2018 against South Africa where he made 16. The match was played in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town which resulted in the bans of Steve Smith and David Warner for one year.
Following that knock, Marsh’s form hit a rough patch. The left-hander’s last five innings prior to the Adelaide dismissal is 7,7,0,3 and 4. His sixth successive single digit score made him the first Australian to achieve this dubious distinction since 1888. Before this, George Bonnor had made 10 consecutive single digit scores from 1886 to 1888. His scores in the two series against England read 4,2,0,3,6,8,0,5,5 and 0.
Marsh’s poor show in the four innings of the recently-concluded Pakistan series, which Australia lost 0-1, increased the pressure. His last Test century (156) was in the Sydney Cricket Ground and it came against England. However, in the South Africa series, he was in poor form as he managed scores of just 40,33,24,1,26 and 0.
Australia would be hoping that Marsh, who is the second-most experienced batsmen in the current line-up between Usman Khawaja, steps up and produces a knock which keeps Australia in the contest in Adelaide.