The current batting line-up of the Australian cricket team against Virat Kohli’s India is low on experience after Steve Smith and David Warner, their two chief run-getters in the last couple of seasons, were banned for a year due to the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town against South Africa. Usman Khawaja has the most experience among the batsmen with 35 Tests while Shaun Marsh has 34 Tests. However, the left-hander, the son of legendary Australian keeper Rodney Marsh, is currently undergoing a lean patch. On day 2 of the Adelaide Test against India, Marsh was bowled for 2 as he was attempting to drive a wide, flighted delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin to the deep extra cover fence but ended up dragging it back on to the stumps. In the process, the 35-year-old created an unwanted 130-year record.
Marsh’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.
The poor show by Marsh has increased the frustrations of the Australian cricket public, who expected big things from him after he made a sensational hundred on debut against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in 2011. An average of 34 in 35 Tests is simply underwhelming and in a team lacking experience, Marsh’s failures could be potentially ruinous.