Australia vs India 2018, 1st Test Day 2: When Australia lost the services of experienced duo of David Warner and Steve Smith due to an infamous ball-tampering scandal, they desperately needed another senior most member in the team to step up and bail them out from the crisis. All eyes were on Shaun Marsh, a proven campaigner in white-ball cricket but a failed poor record in Test cricket has put him under the pump. Since losing Warner and Smith, Marsh has made 16, 7, 7, 0, 3, 4 and 2 while wearing those coveted whites for Australia.
On Friday, the 35-year old broke an unwanted record that has stood for 130 years. Marsh dragged an innocuous Ravi Ashwin delivery back onto his stumps just after lunch on the second day of the first Test. In the over after lunch, Marsh was sent packing for 2 off 19 deliveries. Not since 1888 has an Australian top five Test batsman made six single-figure scores in a row. This comes as a huge surprise all despite Marsh’s recent domestic and limited overs success. He is in the midst of a form slump no living person has ever witnessed.
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Since the West Australian notched 156 against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground 11 months ago, he has played a total of 13 Test innings without scoring more than 40 runs from his bat. Former Aussies leg-spinner Kerry O’Keeffe struggled to comprehend why the senior Marsh did not allow the delivery to go through to the wicketkeeper, while England great Michael Vaughan praised Virat Kohli’s tactics which lured the veteran in to a false stroke.
“If it’s wide and you have to strike it on the up, let it go,” O’Keeffe said on Fox Cricket.
“Why is he not leaving that ball? It is an innocuous nothing and it’s cost him his wicket. That is again Shaun Marsh’s lack of rhythm … He has to play the big shot to get underway. Virat Kohli knew that and said ‘if you want to play the big shot the four is there for you.’ He fell into Kohli’s plan.
“As a spinner that’s just a gimme. You don’t like to call it a strangle, but in effect it is. There was nothing scary about the delivery.”
Vaughan then offered his perspective. “Full credit to Ashwin and Virat Kohli because the field has been kept,” the 2005 Ashes winning skipper said.
Australia were 117 for 4 at tea in their first innings on the second day of the opening Test against India in Adelaide.