Australia needs a fifth bowling option but it ain’t Mitch Marsh

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    The Australian cricket team is currently up 2-0 in the Ashes, while the Australian bowling line-up has been outstanding, the the batting line up has been shaky at times.

    Following Australia’s victory in Adelaide, the selectors have added all-rounder Mitchell Marsh to Test squad for the third Test, who will likely come in for the struggling Peter Handscomb. The selectors have indicated that the reason for Marsh’s inclusion is to give the Test side a fifth bowling option.

    The problem with Marsh’s previous appearances in the Test side have been the fact that he significantly reduced the side’s batting line-up in order add a mediocre fifth bowling option.

    While the need for a fifth bowling option is certainly understandable, it shouldn’t result in weakening the batting.

    All a fifth bowler needs to do is bowl 5-10 overs a day in order to make sure the remainder of the bowling line up, in particular the fast bowlers, can be properly rested.

    Glenn Maxwell is Australia’s most in-form batsman outside of the Test team. He is the Sheffield Shield’s leading run scorer scoring 590 runs at an average of 73.75 at the halfway point of the Shield season.

    While Maxwell’s bowling isn’t at the same standard as an Andrew Flintoff or a Ben Stokes, he is more than capable of bowling 5-10 overs a day to ensure the other bowlers are properly rested. Crucially, picking Maxwell won’t weaken the batting line-up.

    While he has had some good form recently, Mitch Marsh needs a full season of Sheffield Shield before being considered for Test selection.

    If Peter Handscomb is to be dropped for the Perth Test, Glenn Maxwell should be the man to come in.

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    The Crowd Says (182)

    • December 8th 2017 @ 6:55am
      Worlds Biggest said | December 8th 2017 @ 6:55am | ! Report

      Totally agree, Maxy was very unlucky to miss out originally and his form with the bat warrants a recall. His useful offies would also be a bonus not to mention his excellent fielding. M Marsh offers decent bowling however his batting isn’t up to standard at this level. In regards to an alrounder, thought the selectors were high on Cartwright. Handscomb will do very well to hang on to his position. His only saving grace is the notion of not changing a winning team.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 11:06am
        JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

        The batting order in Perth should be:

        S Marsh
        Maxwell (but it will actually be M Marsh at 6)
        Cummins (but Starc will actually still bat at 8)

        Maxwell has just been bowling part-timers at about 2.8 rpo in the Shield but that’s all he needs to do at the WACA to give the quicks the odd breather. The poms are rubbish at playing spin anyway, so he’s every chance of snaring a wicket or two as well.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 7:23pm
          Free 2 Fly said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

          The issue is that it is the WACA an extra spinner is going to be absolutely useless. Now if the argument had been any other all-rounder that bowled medium pacers or quicker then we could have a discussion. Looking though those results none of those types are putting their hand up at the moment. Henriques if we were to go in back to him has done nothing, Stoinis isn’t in good form and neither is Cartwright. Based on this it isn’t unreasonable to say that Marsh is the inform fast bowling all-rounder.

          The only option to really get Maxwell into the team is to drop Lyon and personally I don’t think that is the right option either.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 3:02pm
        Stuart Bywater said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

        Allrounders ideally give a team something approaching an extra player. However, Australia’s search for an allrounder may be superfluous. Billy Beane, in the book “Moneyball”, replaced the abilities of traded players with aggregate abilities of other players.

        Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins’ aggregate batting is arguably enough to suggest that Australia has an all rounder in the aggregate of them. Two half all rounders if you will. In this Ashes series Cummins averages 48.5 and Starc 10.67. Of course three innings is far too small a sample size to draw conclusions.

        Overall, Cummins averages 25.87 in 7 Tests (11 innings) and 27.31 in 17 first class matches (30 innings). His first class record this season is 133 runs scored at 44.33 in 5 innings.

        Starc averages 23.89 in 38 Tests (58 innings) and 23.94 in 74 first class matches (95 innings). His first class record this season is 112 runs scored at 22.40 in 6 innings. [Of course Starc is only the second best bat in his family, his wife Alyssa has a Test average of 32.5].

        Mitchell Marsh offers 21.74 with the bat and costs a whopping 37.48 per wicket with the ball in Tests. (The virtual opposite of Keith Miller’s Test averages.) MM has an economy of 3.43 in Tests. In FC cricket, his averages improve to 30.07 and 28.92. This season in Sheffield Shield, Marsh has averages 44.66 batting and two wickets at 48 with the ball. He has only 2 scores over 50 belying the argument that he is in good form

        Marsh ranks sixth on the total runs scored in SS this season well behind Maxwell, Ferguson and Burns. MM ranks seventh in batting averages of those who have played in all five SS rounds, again well behind Maxwell, Ferguson and Burns. These figures do not support Marsh’s selection as a batter.

        Jackson Bird is the standout bowler in SS this season: 25 wickets at 16.56 in eight innings. Bird’s figures against WA this season were 4/61, 19, 2/85, 1 . Tremain, Boland, Bell and Rainbird also have returned bowling figures much stronger than MM. These figures do not support Marsh’s selection as a bowler.

        MM is a perhaps a FC all rounder but his career figures do not support his selection as a batter, bowler or all rounder. Currently the best non Test batsman is Maxwell followed by Ferguson. The best non Test bowlers are named above although Sayers could be included.

        If the selectors want to follow a horse for courses policy then they need to consider Nathan Couter-Nile or a real roughie in Jhye Richardson who has taken 17 wickets in 7 innings but is only aged 21.

        Arguably the best allrounder in SS remains Steve O’Keefe despite celebrating his 33rd birthday tomorrow. In 9 tests O’Keefe averages 9.55 batting and 29.40 bowling with an ER of 2.77. Overall his figures are 28.83; 24.63 and 2.58.

        MM appears to have been selected for subjective reasons rather than on objective evidence. MM figures do not support his selection as a batter, bowler or allrounder. In cricket, the winning team must take 20 wickets and outscore the other team. The constant is taking 20 wickets. Rather than selecting a batsman allrounder such as Marsh, the selectors should select a bowling allrounder.

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 3:56pm
          Cadfael said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

          We don’t have an allrounder and haven’t had one since Watto’s early days. probably Matthews before that and Gilmour before him. We have done well in the first two tests because we had a batsman at 6. On Maxwell, don’t forgat that nearly half of his Shield runs scored were against NSW who were without Starc, Cummins, Hazelwood and Lyon.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 4:00pm
            Stuart Bywater said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

            Bollinger Okeefe Copeland Abbott and Henriques is a pretty good bowling attack.

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 4:19pm
              Rellum said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

              They were too good for QLD.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:07am
      Dom said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:07am | ! Report

      “While he has had some good form recently, Mitch Marsh needs a full season of Sheffield Shield before being considered for Test selection.” That’s where your argument falls down, at least in terms of how the national selectors are currently thinking. Cameron Bancroft was selected purely based on his very recent form – last year in the Shield he only averaged 28 – so if that’s the way they’re going a player only needs a short run of good scores to get in the team these days. Shaun Marsh was picked pretty much on his form in the domestic one-day comp. If they reckon Mitch Marsh can bat as well as Handscomb while also bowling a few overs I can see why they’d opt for him.

      I’d prefer selections to be based on longer-term form, partially because it would ease up the constant speculation about any player in a brief form slump getting dropped, but it seems the selectors don’t have a huge attention span for these things right now.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 7:49am
        Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:49am | ! Report

        I don’t know that it’s about the selectors attention span or anything of the sort. Rather, that the players with the longer-term form simply aren’t around. Name a player with longer term form who’s been overlooked? Maxwell’s “longer term form” hasn’t been that great either, Hilton Cartwright hasn’t been around long enough to have “longer term form” effectively he had a good season last year and so far this year hasn’t been so good. What opener could we have picked instead of Bancroft who’s shown longer term form? There just isn’t anyone. So I think it comes down to more in the absence of longer term form they pick someone they think has potential who’s shown they are currently in form.

        In the case of both Marshes and Bancroft they are players who’ve been on the selectors radar for a long time, (if the previous Bangladesh tour hadn’t been cancelled, Bancroft probably would have made his test debut there, and been our test opener for the last couple of years instead of just now) and then they’ve shown recent form. None of them are players who’ve come out of nowhere. Bancroft may have struggled last season, but prior to that had some very good form that put him on the selectors radar.

        We aren’t seeing young guys who’ve done nothing of note prior to this season suddenly get selected because they’ve scored a couple of Shield hundreds. It’s all been players who’ve been in the selectors minds for a couple of years who’ve shown some form this year also and then been selected.

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 10:50am
          JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          George Bailey, but he’s about the same age as Shaun Marsh!!!! Wait…

          • Roar Rookie

            December 8th 2017 @ 11:06am
            Lancey5times said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            Much like his batting stance picking Bailey would be a little bit backwards

            • December 8th 2017 @ 1:01pm
              Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

              Why Bailey? He doesn’t bowl and Mitch Marsh has returned the same batting numbers in the Shield as Bailey. He also averaged 169 in the JLT. Bailey didn’t.

              If they don’t want the extra bowler, Handscomb will play.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 3:17pm
                JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

                It was just a joke in response to Chris’ comment about a lack of players with form over a decent period of time.

                But no, Marsh’s Shield batting (one 100 and one 50) hasn’t been as good as Bailey’s (one 100 and three 50s). Marsh’s average and aggregate are slightly higher but he’s had a not-out and an extra innings. BTW, Bailey’s JLT form was a least as good as Marsh’s, he just didn’t have a string of not-outs to his name.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:27pm
                Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

                Bailey’s form was not within a sniff of Marsh’s in JLT. What are you looking at?

                If Bailey had one more 50 in Shield, by your logic, he has been worse. You seem to think that a 100 or a 50, if it doesn’t happen every innings is a sign of inconsistency. So Marsh scores 43 and 38no in the last game and, rather than you seeing the consistency, you consider it a failure because it wasn’t a 50.

                That sums up the blinkered Marsh critics who take a position against Marsh regardless of cricket reality. Reject all performance simply because you don’t like the player.

      • December 9th 2017 @ 9:13am
        Keggas said | December 9th 2017 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        Shaun Marsh was picked on his one day form this year, his shield form this year, his experience and maturity, the fact that he was left handed in a team of right handlers, oh and the fact that his first class averaged over the last 4 years is in the high 40’s making him the best credentialed 6th batsmen.

        As a general rule the selectors put a lot more thought into selections than people put into their comments on here.

        • December 9th 2017 @ 8:31pm
          John Erichsen said | December 9th 2017 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

          A team full of right handers? Warner and Khawaja in the the top three, with Starc and Hazlewood is hardly a team full of right handers. Your last sentence is the best bit though. I can only reason that you have included yourself among the thoughtless masses. Marsh’s current season form is pretty good, (no better than Maxwell who was the test incumbent though) and he has made the most of this new opportunity. I hope selectors reward his recent hundred with greater loyalty than they did Maxwell’s maiden test century, made on the Indian tour.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:09am
      Steele said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:09am | ! Report

      Agreed, unless of course Bancroft keeps in place of Paine. Then Marsh is a viable option. Maxwell has been dudded. Personally I think Smith and Maxwell could share the load with a few overs each. Poor Maxy isn’t loved very much. Pretty hard if you only get picked on the sub continent.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 7:54am
        Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        Maxy barely bowls for Victoria. In the Shield so far, in 5 matches (10 innings) he’s bowled 56 overs and taken 1/160. It’s a real stretch to call him an allrounder these days, he’s really dropped back into more of a batsman who bowls some part-time off spin, and if the feeling is they need a real fifth bowling option, especially on a more pace friendly pitch, Maxwell isn’t really an option for that.

        And Marsh can score runs on flat pitches that give nothing to the bowlers. I suppose the question is whether the go all horses for courses and drop him back out for a better batsman the moment they come across a more bowler friendly pitch. If they are bringing him in because they are expecting a road at the WACA and want the fifth bowler, then he’s being brought in as a “horses for courses” selection, and as such should be dropped in the same way when they face very different conditions. But that’s where I suspect this will fall down. Once he’s in he’ll be treated as the incumbent who’ll be held onto until a string of poor performances sees him dropped.

        Hopefully he can defy all critics and do well with both bat and ball and suddenly turn himself into a test quality allrounder. If he can, that will be a major bonus.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 9:23am
          Steve said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

          If Cartwright and M.Marsh we’re to come good at test level (big if) and Bancroft could keep at test level

          Smith (c)
          S. Marsh
          M. Marsh
          Bancroft (wk)

          That looks a pretty good team on paper

          • December 8th 2017 @ 1:02pm
            Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

            Cartwright is a long way off. The WA team would have Turner ahead of him now.

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 9:31am
          Red Kev said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

          That’s a lot more overs than Mitchell 22 overs in two first class matches bowling since shoulder reconstruction Marsh has under his belt.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 10:52am
            JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            Yep, and it doesn’t really matter if Maxwell gets 0/20 off 6-7 overs. As long as he’s not getting thumped around then he can do a job.

            Of course, Smith could bowl himself more and then it would be a non-issue.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 10:53am
            Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:53am | ! Report

            That’s different. Mitch is a regular bowler who’s only just started bowling in the last couple of games after coming back from a Shoulder Reconstruction, and he will continue to bowl more and more, because bowling is a major part of his game. In contrast Maxwell doesn’t have any physical reason for not bowling, he just doesn’t bowl much anymore.

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 11:02am
              Red Kev said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              You’re missing the point. It’s relevant. Mitch Marsh is in the squad because of his bowling, is coming off a major injury and hasn’t bowled a lot. Mitch is more likely to get injured than any of our front-line quicks from bowling too much if England bat for two full days on the WACA road.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

                And if he does his job to protect the main bowlers but gets injured in the process, then does that become a win-win for the people who really don’t want him in the team, as he protects the main bowlers for the one test they really needed the help, and then is gone for the next one?

                I don’t know that he’s likely to get injured again, probably just more likely that he won’t be at 100% effectiveness with the ball because he hasn’t done masses of bowling in matches. (Pretty sure he’d been building up slowly with bowling in the nets for a while before he started bowling in matches).

                I’ve never said this is an ideal selection, it’s not, but even just returning from injury he is still the best bowler among the allrounder contenders, and he’s done reasonably well with the bat when playing on a nice WACA batting pitch, so if that’s what is rolled out he may be good enough for what’s needed batting-wise too.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:05pm
                Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

                And already he has taken twice the wickets Maxwell has.

                You need to get the idea that Maxwell is a batsman only. Although Mitch is not yet as good a batsman as Maxwell, he is an all rounder. Different disciplines.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 2:26pm
                Red Kev said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

                You have to be able to bat to be an all-rounder Don Freo. Mitch Marsh is still the worst ever top six batsman in the entire history of test cricket to have played at least 20 tests. Mitch Marsh is a mediocre bowler who bats at a level somewhat comparable to Mitchell Starc.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:08pm
                Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

                You must be watching no cricket this summer. Your judgement is way off.

                Pointless making comments if you don’t know what’s going on.

                402 runs at 44 in Shield. Average 169 in JLT…and you don’t know that yet choose to comment? Strange.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:29pm
                Stuart Bywater said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                Marsh has taken two wickets in two innings (22 overs) c.f. to Maxwell’s one in eight innings (56 overs). Of course it’s twice as many wickets as Maxwell but it is of course only one wicket. This season, Marsh’s ER is 4.36 rpo c.f. Maxwell’s ER of 2.85. These figures suggest that Maxwell is better suited to be a fifth bowler whose role is to contain the opposition batsmen while Aus quicks rest rather than to take wickets. This season’s stats suggest Marsh will cost 15 runs more per ten overs bowled but score 29 runs less per innings. The statistical cost of preferring Marsh to Maxwell is 88 runs per match. Both players have played all 5 SS matches.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:34pm
                Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

                Not so. You misuse the numbers.


                Still you have made your mind up. No reality will chabge it. The reality is, Marsh is a bowler. Maxwell is a change bowler.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 10:44pm
                Rob said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:44pm | ! Report

                Stuart B, has torpedoed your stats with a good dose of the truth Don.
                Maxwell has jumped through every hoop asked of him and Marsh has basically been gifted a spot over him. I find it very amusing people are arguing the WACA pitch is more suit to Mitchell Marsh’s pace over Maxwell’s spin as a 5th bowling option? This is the total opposite selection process used in India when Mitchell Marsh was picked ahead of Maxwell for the first 2 games and bowled 5 overs and averaged 12 runs with the bat, on spinning pitches.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 11:53pm
                Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

                He hasn’t. The stats stand…unless you want to draw on irrelevant stats from many years ago. That has nothing to do with form. Cricketers know that now counts, not 2, 3 or 4 years ago.

                Keep reading but I’d suggest following cricket works better.

              • December 9th 2017 @ 10:24am
                Rob said | December 9th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

                “He hasn’t. The stats stand…unless you want to draw on irrelevant stats from many years ago. That has nothing to do with form. ” So who on current form should be selected Marsh or Maxwell you goose.

              • December 9th 2017 @ 10:54am
                Don Freo said | December 9th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

                ‘Goose?’ How does that win an argument.

                They are both in form but the need is for a bowler. Maxi is no longer that. Those two are not competing with each other.

                All you have to do is read and think, Rob. Argument mode blinds you…and reveals a staggering paucity of basic manners.

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 10:50am
          The Bush said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          Maxwell is not an all rounder. Maxwell is a Mark Waugh, a batsman that can bowl. We used to have plenty of these. Besides, it’s not like the WACA has been bouncy in ages.

          Marsh is only just returned from an injury. He’s young, he hasn’t finished a shield season fit in years (or the years he’s been fit he’s been in the ODI squad).

          They should just leave the kid to focus on his batting and finishing a season strongly.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 10:55am
            Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

            I know that for his own development that is the ideal. But we aren’t talking the ideal, we are talking about being in a situation where it’s considered we need an allrounder for the next match. So waiting a couple of years isn’t an option, we need someone now who can reasonably put in as the fifth bowler, and unfortunately, Mitch get’s that spot because there really aren’t a lot of other options around.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 1:30pm
              Rob JM said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

              Australia have had no problem taking 20 english wickets. We have had batting colapses in both test. The selectors pick marsh to strengthen the bowling. Go figure?

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 1:23pm
            The Barry said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

            It’s a good point.

            Why don’t batsmen bowl any more?

            Smith can roll his arm over and while he was no great shakes Warner has gotten a couple of test wickets. I don’t remember him being particularly good but one of those partnership breakers when the batsmen relax a little.

            Certainly between them (plus Maxwell) you think they’d be good for 10 overs or so if it’s a long hot day in the field.

            Are they worried about a batsman injuring himself bowling throw away overs?

            Anyway, Marsh seems like he’s below his best as a batsman and a bowler at the moment, so what’s the point?

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 2:48pm
              Rellum said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

              Do they actually bowl in the nets anymore?

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 1:36pm
            Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

            Actually, I think both Waugh’s were really full-on allrounders when they were first selected, just as their careers went on they backed off from that more. Mark stopped bowling pace and moved to offspin when he had back issues. Prior to that he could actually bowl 140+ and was a pretty decent bowler.

            I think a lot of it comes down to professionalism though. The more professional things get, the more specialised roles tend to be and people are less able to manage multiple disciplines. Just look at different levels of cricket. The lower you go the more often you find you have one player in the team who’s both the best batsman and the best bowler, the further up the levels you move that becomes rarer, and there are less allrounders and more specialists. Same at the top level, the more professional it gets, the harder it is to be a real allrounder.

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 2:28pm
              Red Kev said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

              Which is a paper-thin argument that falls apart the moment you say the following “bowlers have to bat”. All front-line bowlers have to put time in the nets batting. As full time professionals, top six batters have far more time to hone their ability to bowl a couple of overs in a match.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 4:27pm
                Linphoma said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

                Yet you see the same tendencies to specialise in other sports, other nations around the world. It starts when you’re a kid. I am afraid you will not see the likes of those all-round multi-sport people (ok Ellyse Perry, you come the closest I can think of just offhand) at least in the numbers we used to see.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 4:44pm
                Rellum said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

                There is a school of thought now that kids specialise in sports too early. It is thought kids not playing multiple sports long enough negatively impacts on fast bowlers injury levels.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 11:31pm
                Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:31pm | ! Report

                Oh I agree. I think that batsmen should definitely still be having a bowl in the nets and such, and having as many options who could bowl a few overs as possible. Though I suspect for many of them their bowling would probably be more like park cricket quality, still worth spending a little time working on it.

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 4:27pm
              The Barry said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

              On Mark Waugh and his pace…

              I was at a tour game between NSW and the West Indies in 1988 when for whatever reason Mark Waugh opened the bowling for NSW in the second innings.

              He was really quick that day and had the Windies ducking and diving. It was a great spell.

              I think he turned to spin because his back was crook.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 4:28pm
                Linphoma said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                And I think that day the other opening bowler for NSW was Mark Taylor.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 7:41pm
                The Barry said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:41pm | ! Report


              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 7:45pm
                The Barry said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

                No I think it was Mike Whitney.

                Regardless I don’t think its got much to do with how fast Mark Waugh was bowling…

        • December 8th 2017 @ 6:48pm
          gus said | December 8th 2017 @ 6:48pm | ! Report

          Fairly balanced view there Chris. However, the WACA aint what it used to
          be. At the start of the Shield season, players were told that runs count.
          Yes, Maxwell is a part time bowler, but with the way the WACA is now,
          Maxwell can well roll the arm over to give the main bowlers some rest.
          I can see Lyon improving on his record there. Maxwell has the runs
          on the board. 274. Doesnt that count? I reckon he’s been stiffed.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 8:58am
        Morsie said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        Paine has outscored Bancroft. Paine is also keeping very well.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 9:27am
          Andrew said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          Bancroft can feel a bit unlucky as he was run out first innings and was opening vs a swinging new ball under lights. Very tough on Bancroft to question his batting at this stage. He will come good at the WACA.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 12:26pm
          Gr8rWestr said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

          Bancroft has scored 101 runs (5, 82, 10, 4), with 1 not out and a run out that wasn’t his fault.
          Paine has scored 81 runs (57, 11, 13) .
          So, how exactly has Paine ‘outscored’ Bancroft?

        • December 8th 2017 @ 3:11pm
          Tommo said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

          Agree. Bancroft is a reserve keeper for test matches. Paine has done nothing wrong with bat or gloves.
          Marsh is in to save CA from flying Maxwell over. M Marsh will be out come Wednesday evening to go play whatever game is on over the weekend.

    • Roar Guru

      December 8th 2017 @ 7:17am
      Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:17am | ! Report

      Marsh’s bowling is actually significantly better than mediocre. Actually, among all the allrounder candidates his bowling is by far the strongest. Having players like Maxwell and Cartwright in the side who are technically included as allrounders, but who’s bowling is just a little above a part-timer, meant that Smith really didn’t want to bowl them, as he wants a fifth bowler to be someone who can still keep the pressure on to an extent and possibly threaten to pick up some wickets.

      Certainly of the allrounder candidates, Maxwell has by far the best batting form, but he’s also hardly been bowling. His bowling has been more akin to a part timer, just a few overs here and there. In the 5 matches so far for Victoria he’s bowled a grand total of 56 overs and taken 1/160. So he certainly is a better batting option, but if the whole point is to add more bowling then he really doesn’t help that.

      If Perth serves up another dead pitch where 600+ scores are likely, then in reality they can do with one less batsman. In those conditions, it could be argued, that Mitch Marsh should actually be quite effective with the bat, potentially more than Handscomb anyway.

      So yes, Maxwell would probably be the best option for the batting lineup, but he’s basically dropped back from being an allrounder to a batsman who bowls some part-time off spin in recent years. So if they want an allrounder he’s really not an option.

      I also think Mitch Marsh, good form in the last few matches aside, probably needs a couple of years to develop his batting before getting picked again, but if an allrounder is considered needed, we really don’t have a lot of options at the moment for players who fill that role with actual decent bowling, so Mitch gets the call.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 10:48am
        Brian said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        Except M Marsh is a poor batsman who averages 22. If you are so desperate for a proper 5th bowler might as well bat Cummins at No 6 and pick Bird. Cummins batting is on par with M Marsh.

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 10:52am
          The Bush said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          Though I’m afraid to bet against the selectors at the moment, Marsh’s batting ability at test level certainly suggests that you’d be no worse off putting Paine at 6 and batting Cummins at 7 with Marsh at 8… So with that you may as well pick a front line bowler.

          While it’s always a little unfair to do this exercise, until Marsh knocked his recent century (on a flat wicket), he was only averaging 28 for the season (right in line with his career average). He’s averaging 40 now, so not bad, but not exactly batting the house down compared to some…

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 11:01am
          Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

          I’m no Mitch Marsh fan, so it feels weird that I’m suddenly in the position of defending him, but he’s one of those players who seems better than his average. He needs to find more consistency and get his average up, but on his day he can bat very well. Pat Cummins and Mitch Marsh’s first class batting averages are quite similar, but Mitch has 5 hundreds and 18 fifties, while Pat currently has one first class 50. Sure, that’s from a lot less matches, but I can see why, beyond just thinking of averages, he would be thought of as more of a batsman than Cummins. But Pat certainly looks like a player who could score a few test hundreds through his career also.

          Mitch has been batting himself at 4 for WA being captain and having the option to choose where he bats. Technically he probably shouldn’t bat there based on his record, but it suggests he’s not at all averse to being considered as someone in the team who’s main job is to score runs and take that responsibility. So far this year he’s done okay with that, whether he can transform himself into a test quality batsman is yet to be seen, but I won’t write him off yet.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:46am
            Brian said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

            How is he better than his average, because he smacks a few good shots here and there when the ball is doing nothing? His defensive technique is tail ender worthy, thus his shocking average. The WACA this season has been the flattest pitch in the country bar none.

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 12:49pm
              Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

              I totally get that. But his selection is also to play on that said WACA pitch. So if, as a batsman, he’s only really any good in top batting conditions then this should suit him.

              My big worry then, though, is that having picked him, they aren’t likely to just drop him again for the following match even if faced with less of a flat batting pitch where they need the extra batsman rather than the extra bowler.

              Of course, when talking about who should be picked people keep saying Maxwell on the bases of a big double hundred at North Sydney Oval against a second-string NSW attack. So if the argument is going to be about the conditions in which he’s scored runs, that criteria should be applied to Maxwell also!

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:38pm
                Rob JM said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

                Maxwell has scored runs in 4 out of 5 shield games, scored a century in india, has a 42.6 1st class average, is the leading run scorer and is a superb fieldsman and handy part time bowler. Mitch marsh is the worst test no 6 to ever play and is coming off a shoulder injury.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 3:24pm
                JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                Well Rob, when you put it like that…

          • December 8th 2017 @ 3:40pm
            Stuart Bywater said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

            Hi Chris,
            I agree an extra bowler is needed for Perth. So why choose MM who is a batting allrounder. Bird should be chosen.
            The selection process seems to be the issue with Mitch’s selection.

            Roarers (and players) are confused by the lack of consistency in selections. That Marsh (S) and Paine have been successful does not justify their initial selection. Arguably any SS batsman could score a century in Tests. Any SS keeper can take Test catches and score runs.

            Surely the selectors should select the best players not simply competent ones.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:40am
      Rob JM said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:40am | ! Report

      If the four best bowlers cant take the wickets what is Mitchell Marsh going to bring to the table other than shuffling Starc and Cummins up the order so he can bat and his rightful position at no 9.

      Maxwell proved himself yet constantly gets overlooked for undeserving Marshes.
      The Australian selectors are pathetic.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 8:06am
        Christo the Daddyo said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:06am | ! Report

        The idea of a fifth bowler isn’t to take many wickets (although any would be great obviously), but more as a relief bowler to give the four main bowlers a rest. As Australian bowlers have not had a good reputation for being able to remain uninjured for any length of time, there’s a fair bit of merit in this thinking. If MM can bowl 10-15 overs per innings without leaking too many runs (and maybe pick up a wicket here and there) that would fit the bill for a decent fifth bowling option.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 8:25am
          jamesb said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

          But MM is averaging 21 from 21 tests with the bat. That’s not good enough for a top six batsman. Even if he bowls 10-15 overs an innings, he still hasn’t proved that he is up to the mark as a batsman.

          He needs a full season of shield cricket. IMO, MM doesn’t deserve a test spot at this stage. Maxwell should be picked ahead of him.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 9:02am
            Edward L'Orange said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:02am | ! Report

            I’m not a Mitch Marsh fan, but I think every one is forgetting that he’s actually in quite good form (better than Handscomb) and the WACCA is his home ground.

            • Roar Guru

              December 8th 2017 @ 9:33am
              Red Kev said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

              I think everyone is forgetting how little bowling Mitch Marsh has actually done since his shoulder reconstruction.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 10:26am
                Edward L'Orange said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

                But he wouldn’t be there to do much bowling, just provide an option. His batting is the concern.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 10:54am
                JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

                Then pick Maxwell. He ‘provides an option’ too and he actually deserves selection.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 11:08am
                Edward L'Orange said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

                Oh don’t get me wrong, I think they should pick Maxwell. I just don’t think we should get too worked up about Marsh, it could be worse.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 3:25pm
                JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

                Glad we’re on the same page then!

            • December 8th 2017 @ 10:54am
              James T said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

              Mitch has 87runs @ 29 away from the road that is the waca, including twin failures against nsw test attack.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 11:07am
                Chris Kettlewell said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

                That’s not too bad actually considering that a number of those pitches away from the WACA road have actually been tough pitches and lead to very low scoring across the board. That means that on those tougher conditions he’s averaged pretty much his career average, while doing significantly better at home.

                The thing is, Maxwell is no longer a viable 5th bowling option. He’s little more than a part-timer. He’s been available to bowl in every match of the Shield season and has bowled 56 overs in 10 innings taking just 1/160.

                If they are bringing Mitch in for the pitches that are a road, then maybe that’s a reasonable call, as long as they are also willing to make the same call if they face a tougher batting pitch and drop him for a better batsman in better form as they don’t need the extra bowler but do need to bolster the batting. My main fear is that they use a sort of horses for courses policy to put him in, but then just stick with him rather than dropping him out under the same horses for courses policy.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 11:09am
                Edward L'Orange said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:09am | ! Report

                Good thing the match is at the WACA then.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:11pm
                Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

                Yet James, others’ innings on even greater roads are signs of compelling form?

          • December 8th 2017 @ 11:49am
            Christo the Daddyo said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:49am | ! Report

            As was pointed out elsewhere, in an ideal world you would certainly expect to see at least a full season of high quality results before considering someone for Test honours. But there isn’t anyone who fits that bill. So in the absence of that the selectors have to go with who is in form at the moment. And whether we like it or not, MM is in form at the moment, particularly on his home ground. Maxwell is too of course, but if the selectors are looking for someone who is an allrounder, MM is the better option at the WACA. If the next game was Melbourne or Sydney, there would be a strong argument for Maxwell.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 3:43pm
              Stuart Bywater said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

              MM has scored two scores above 50 in ten innings. That’s hardly compelling form

              • December 8th 2017 @ 5:02pm
                Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:02pm | ! Report

                You explain his average of 44 this Shield season and a JLT average of 169 if he is out of form.

                It is compelling. He has certainly compelled the attention of selectors. You just refuse to look.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 11:53am
          Brian said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

          It’s true MM isn’t going to run through an order like Watson could in his prime, so why pick him? To justify his position he’d have to be worthy enough to pick as a batsman (aka average about 35+ like Stokes does). Maxwell seems to fit the bill perfectly as a guy who can bowl a few ‘relief’ overs for little to no runs and still demand selection as one of the six best bats in the country.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 3:27pm
            JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

            Bingo. If we’re talking 5-10 overs in a long innings then Maxwell is perfectly suited to that, especially if Smith rolls his arm over for a few sets of six.

        • December 9th 2017 @ 8:41pm
          John Erichsen said | December 9th 2017 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

          If the idea of the fifth bowler isn’t to take wickets but to provide relief for the specialist bowlers, then there is no need for an all-rounder. Throw the ball to Warner and Smith for a few overs each and pick a specialist batsman. The reason Marsh is being considered is because they desire a fifth bowler who is a potential wicket taker. Marsh is that. His previous test performances would suggest he is far better suited to test cricket as a bowler than as a batsman. If he gets this opportunity, I hope his current batting form finally transfers to runs on the test scoreboard. It hasn’t in the past and it left our batting lineup far too unbalanced.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:42am
      George said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:42am | ! Report

      Funny how nobody but Marshes get consistent repeat shots at Test cricket.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 9:30am
        Steve said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

        Ferguson, Burns, Nevill and soon Handscomb probably won’t get another shot at test cricket

        • December 8th 2017 @ 10:44am
          George said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

          Burns did get one recall, and Khawaja pretty much embarrasses the selectors whenever he’s left out, but most players are dropped after a few Tests and then discarded. Not so the Marshes – even the little, slogging, Tony Dodemaide-lite one who averages 21 and barely bowls – who are handed multiple chances to improve and perform internationally, regardless of form and whether or not there are more-deserving candidates.

          Still at least Stoinis didn’t get picked. What the hell is with that guy’s supporters? It’s as if his repeated Shield failures are fake news.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 10:56am
            JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

            Burns got recalled for one game on a greentop, after being scapegoated for the Sri Lanka debacle, following which he was scapegoated for the Hobart debacle.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 11:02am
              George said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              Like Khawaja, he was shabbily treated in Sri Lanka – even though Voges was utterly inept/past it there and in England previously. . And then, along with Ferguson and Nevill, scapegoated in the great Maddinson-Renshaw-Handscomb-Wade putsch.

        • Roar Guru

          December 8th 2017 @ 10:55am
          The Bush said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          Burns is batting the house down. At 28/29, he may yet get another shot, but it’s unlikely. Nevill and Ferguson will never get another shot. Paine is doing well enough to survive at least 12 months of bad form after this and by then Nevill will be 33 and the younger keepers will over take him. Likewise re Ferguson, there are enough young batsmen around to keep him out of the side. Handscombe is only 25, it’d be unfair even by Australian selectors standards to mark his cards at this point.

          • December 9th 2017 @ 8:44pm
            John Erichsen said | December 9th 2017 @ 8:44pm | ! Report

            Add Doolan to your list of no second shots for test selection.

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 9:34am
        Red Kev said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

        It was actually hysterical listening to the BBC Test Match Special podcast and Michael Vaughn talk about Vince about to get his cards marked, because you don’t get a third chance at this level when you keep failing, meanwhile Australia has Shaun Marsh in for chance number nine.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 11:31am
        qwetzen said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        Well Hughes P certainly got numerous recalls, and I can think of several other likelies but CI stats don’t include ‘Missed Matches’ anymore so I couldn’t be forked.

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