We’ve had only two days of Test cricket this summer, but already we’ve had two demonstrations of why the no-ball rule needs to be overhauled.
Mitch Marsh is a member of Australia’s Ashes squad, and there’s talk of him being picked for the fourth Test starting on Wednesday in Manchester.
Marsh shouldn’t play the next Test, and in fact, he shouldn’t even be in the squad.
After 31 Tests, Marsh has a batting average 25. His batting isn’t up to Test match standard.
But despite his constant failures at Test level, Marsh has a decent white-ball record. In the ODI format, he averages 35 with both bat and ball. In the Twenty20 arena, Marsh averages 30 with the bat and 27 with the ball.
Unfortunately, the constant push to make Marsh a Test player has limited his white-ball opportunities. He was left out of Australia’s limited-overs sides in November last year in order to play in the Sheffield Shield.
Earlier this year, Marsh signed up to play for Glamorgan in the English Twenty20 Blast, but he was selected in the Ashes squad, which made him unavailable for that competition.
Since making his Twenty20 International debut in 2011, Marsh has played just 11 matches for the Australian T20 national team. Playing a season of Twenty20 cricket in England would’ve helped Marsh push for a spot in that Australian side.
So while players such as D’Arcy Short, Alex Carey, James Faulkner, Peter Handscomb and Dan Christian have been playing Twenty20 cricket and pushing for international selection, Marsh has been running drinks for the Test side.
If the Australian selectors stopped trying make Mitch Marsh a Test player and allowed to focus on limited-overs cricket, he could be a valuable asset to the Australian team.