Shaun Marsh goes bang to stake Ashes claim

Scott Pryde Roar Guru

34 Have your say

    If there was ever a time for Shaun Marsh to make runs, this was it. He has been given countless opportunities in the Australian team, but yesterday – against the attack who will run onto the Gabba in the first Test match – he put his hand firmly in the air.

    After a half-century against the pink ball in the first round of the Sheffield Shield, and a duck in the first innings against New South Wales, he smacked the Blues attack around for 91, as part of a 179-run opening stand with wicketkeeping hopeful Cameron Bancroft.

    While many will bemoan the fact we are even mentioning Marsh again, form and circumstances have demanded we talk about him.

    Yesterday, I wrote about the lack of apparent openers in Australian cricket. It’s not far from the truth given we are talking about Marsh, who has had more chances than most, but he is demanding another look.

    Does Matt Renshaw need to be dropped for Brisbane?

    He made an attack featuring Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Patrick Cummins and Nathan Lyon look second rate, in a timely reminder to the national selection panel.

    Whether they will take a punt on Marsh is anyone’s guess, but it’s not hard to remember that he was in the Test team last summer and then toured India. For him to be given another opportunity would drive fans up the wall, but it may not be the worst option.

    Two good innings, both against good attacks and the first of those in trying conditions against the pink ball, illustrate that he is in some decent form.

    Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Matt Renshaw.

    As I detailed yesterday (met with mixed reactions from Roarers), the incumbent Aussie opener is struggling. He made 19 off 109 balls in his second innings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and hasn’t gone close to making a half-century in his four Shield innings.

    Renshaw’s problem is that he hasn’t scored a great deal of runs in his last six Test matches. While he deserves to be there based on his century in the last Test of the 2016-17 summer, he doesn’t have long to show form in the present, particularly if Marsh keeps peeling off a score every second innings.

    As for Bancroft, in his first match of the season, he carried his bat to make 76 in the first innings before backing it up with 86 yesterday.

    Given the well-publicised struggles of wicketkeeper Matthew Wade – whose Shield season has yielded scores of 3, 6, 9 and 17, which doesn’t inspire confidence – Bancroft has thrown his hat into the ring as a smokey for the job come November 23.

    Other keeping possibilities Alex Carey and Peter Nevill have struggled with the stick during the opening two rounds, but Bancroft is clearly in form. However, while he was opening for Western Australia, it’s unlikely Bancroft would do the same in the baggy green, instead batting at No.7.

    Progress was also made in the race for No.6. Despite Jake Lehmann joining the list of bolters on Monday with a brilliant 93, Glenn Maxwell seems to have cut that race off at the start line, blasting his way to 64. It was his second half-century of the match and with Western Australian all-rounder Hilton Cartwright inconsistent, Maxwell is in the box seat.

    A century almost certainly would have sealed the day for the incumbent all-rounder, but it wasn’t too be as he was removed by Joe Mennie.

    Australia Test player Glenn Maxwell raises his bat

    AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

    In other news, it’s becoming clear just how dangerous an in-form Starc can be. He picked up a second hat-trick in as many days to win the games for the Blues yesterday, against lower-order batsmen, while Hazlewood held an end down – as he so often does in the baggy green.

    After Chadd Sayers took wickets the previous day, Joe Mennie took over on the morning of Day 4, leading the Redbacks attack with 4-39 from 18 overs.

    It was a superb performance from Mennie and must put him into calculations as the squad’s first reserve bowler.

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 1200 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (34)

    • Roar Guru

      November 8th 2017 @ 9:11am
      Rellum said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      Starc was epic in this game. To clean up the tail twice like that was just quality,

      Marsh had a very good game, so did Bancroft obviously. Smith got himself back into form. Sayers not getting many on a batting deck will put him back again, especially as SA went two wickets short of an outright.

      QLD have nailed two great outrights so far and we are actually looking a chance to make the final.

    • Roar Rookie

      November 8th 2017 @ 9:35am
      Dogs Boddy said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:35am | ! Report

      There is a big difference between Shield and Test cricket. Marsh doesn’t make that jump well, Renshaw did.

      I get that you seem to be a Marsh fan, or at the very least anti Renshaw. He is steady, and that is something we need in our batting line up. A team full of David Warners will be either 0-200 at lunch or all out, there is very little middle ground. BTW Warner hasn’t been setting the world alight so far this year either, yet his name never seems to come up in regards to possibly dropping an opener. I wonder why that is.

      Renshaw needs to play. If S Marsh is to be considered it should be at 6 and we go in with 4 bowlers, you know like we always used to do before Flintoff changed the way selectors think for the worse. Otherwise put Bancroft at 6, or Maxwell if you have had a stroke recently and aren’t thinking clearly.

      Bancroft is a part time keeper, we need a full time gloveman to play for Australia. Let’s not repeat the Wayne Phillips experiment. Neville for me is the best keeper in Australia. Runs should be a secondary consideration, and sledging should not even come into it. Healy wasn’t a great batsman, but he was handy and that is what you need from a number 7. If 1-6 don’t make runs it’s unfair to put so much pressure on the wicket keeper. Gilchrist was an outlier, and shouldn’t dictate how all future wicket keepers are chosen.

      Starc was scarily good and I am looking forward to seeing how he goes in the first test. Our bowling side is looking very strong, we just need the batsmen to set a decent total for them to bowl at.

      The trouble with using a couple of Shield games to dictate who plays is that we have a revolving list of players depending on how they went last week. I recall reading an interview with Joe Burns who said the hardest part of being a fringe test player (not Smith, Warner or Lyon basically) was not knowing when you will be dropped for someone who has done something half decent on the weekend.

      • November 8th 2017 @ 2:28pm
        ja ja klazo said | November 8th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

        I can’t be sure, but I would imagine the reason no one is saying to drop Warner is because he has scored 20 test centuries at an average just under 48…

        • Roar Rookie

          November 8th 2017 @ 3:04pm
          Dogs Boddy said | November 8th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

          That could be it 🙂

          Mind you over 90% of his centuries have been in Oz. He constantly fails in India yet doesn’t suffer the same issues as Usman and others. He is certainly a protected player.

          • November 8th 2017 @ 6:21pm
            Steve said | November 8th 2017 @ 6:21pm | ! Report

            warner has three centuries in SA, 1 in the UAE and 2 in bangledesh, not 90% in australia, if only he had 60 hundreds…

          • November 8th 2017 @ 6:57pm
            John Erichsen said | November 8th 2017 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

            His last two test hundreds were scored away from home. In his last two tests, in fact. Maybe that’s why nobody thinks he should be dropped?

            • Roar Rookie

              November 10th 2017 @ 9:07am
              Dogs Boddy said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

              Wow calm down people, nothing like mentioning Dave Warner to bring em out.

              I was estimating the 90% mark, thank you to those who have the accurate stats to show me they have more time on their hands than is warranted. What I am saying is that he makes a lot more runs in Oz than elsewhere. His average in India is 24 by the way (0 hundreds 3 fifties), yet he always plays there. See I can Google too.

              I like Dave Warner, I just find it interesting that he can go through quite lean periods and never be considered by the Roar crowd as being in trouble, yet everyone else has their name come up if they fail a few times in a row.

              He has certainly benefitted from being allowed an extended run in the team to get set. Maybe other players should be given the same benefit, that’s the point I was trying to make.

          • Columnist

            November 8th 2017 @ 7:07pm
            Ronan O'Connell said | November 8th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

            Test averages away from home:

            Warner ……….. 38
            Khawaja ……… 27

            • November 9th 2017 @ 1:16am
              Ben Brown said | November 9th 2017 @ 1:16am | ! Report

              How many Tests has Khawaja played overseas to prove his worth since his recall Ronan?

    • November 8th 2017 @ 9:57am
      rock86 said | November 8th 2017 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      Yeah, let’s put Marsh in again who has shown he cannot perform consistently at international level.

      He’s had one good innings, one ok innings and two woeful innings in these two shield matches.

      How do these past innings indicate to people the leopard has changed his spots in respect to international test cricket, well they don’t, again they indicate what we already know about Shaun Marsh – he is rocks or diamonds – and at international level its usually the rocks that are on show.

      • November 8th 2017 @ 2:48pm
        George said | November 8th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

        18 scores of 11 runs or under.

      • Roar Guru

        November 9th 2017 @ 9:22am
        JamesH said | November 9th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        I don’t think we should go back to Marsh. That said, the calls for his inclusion have far more merit than most people are giving credit for.

        One thing people overlook is that the first part of his international career came on the back of his alleged talent, rather then weight of runs. He was averaging around 30 in Shield cricket for a while and still coming into test calculations. The Australian public have always been very hard on players who get picked on potential rather than merit, yet that’s hardly Marsh’s fault. You don’t knock back an invite to play for your country.

        From 2014 onwards, Marsh has averaged well over 50 in Shield cricket. In the same period he has played 16 tests at an average of a touch under 40 with effectively 4 hundreds and 7 50s (I’m including a 99 and a 49 as a ton and a 50 respectively). Of those tests, just 5 have been at home. If you consider that the last four matches were in India – traditionally the toughest place for Australians to score runs – it’s actually a pretty strong record.

        At present, Marsh is clearly in decent form and he has put together some cricket over the last three years that genuinely makes a case for his selection. I do wonder how much the public’s views are coloured by those early failures when he shouldn’t have been picked.

    • Roar Guru

      November 8th 2017 @ 10:04am
      Julian King said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

      I can’t understand why people are so spellbound by Shaun Marsh.
      We need to look past the aesthetic. He’s been dropped at least four times.
      He’s demonstrated that he has no consistency over a series.
      Unquestionably talented, but limited.

      • November 8th 2017 @ 7:02pm
        John Erichsen said | November 8th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

        Not a massive Marsh fan but number of times dropped from the side shouldn’t be reason not to be selected. If that were the case Khawaja can’t be considered. He’s been dropped five times.

      • November 10th 2017 @ 12:39am
        Don Freo said | November 10th 2017 @ 12:39am | ! Report

        Julian, if you read the comment above yours by JamesH, you will see why there is a case. No one is “spellbound”. They just follow the game.

    • Roar Guru

      November 8th 2017 @ 10:15am
      Paul D said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

      I am so sick of hearing about Shaun Marsh. Move on people. He’s a more stylish Marcus North, the occasional decent score and loads of failures in between

    • November 8th 2017 @ 10:22am
      beepee said | November 8th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

      But this is classic Shaun Marsh – performs well in the shield, especially when national selection is front and centre. But time and again, he doesn’t make the step up….have we learned nothing?

    , , ,