In the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, Shaun Marsh was supposed to be the one in charge of breaking records and taking the team forward. Unfortunately for Australia, the southpaw has just broken a 130-year-old record but not the one that they would have wanted him to break.
When the 35-year-old batsman chopped a wide ball onto his stumps off the bowling of Ravichandran Ashwin on day two of the first Test between Australia and India at Adelaide, he became the first Australian top five batsman in 130 years to record six successive single-digit scores. The last one to do so was George Bonnor in 1888, who never played again after scoring a duck against England at Old Trafford, which was his 10th single-digit score.
Shaun Marsh's last six Test scores stretching back to the Test against South Africa at the Wanderers make for appalling reading. He has been dismissed for scores of 7, 7, 0, 3, 4 and 2 in his last six innings, his latest dismissal to Ashwin, which wasn't only a bad shot but also helped him claim an unwanted record.
While his streak of successive single-digit scores doesn't make for great reading, he hasn't been especially successful in Tests in 2018, to begin with. In the eight Tests that he has played this year, the 35-year-old has scored just 319 runs at an average of 22.78 with a solitary century and no fifties to his name.
His recent run left plenty of fans bemused about his consistent selection in the starting XI despite his poor form.
Marsh was dismissed by Ashwin, which was the fifth time that he had fallen to the off-spinner in Tests, the second-most he has been dismissed by any bowler in the longest format of the game. Only Umesh Yadav, who has dismissed Marsh eight times can claim to have got him out more in Tests.
Marsh's average against Ashwin in Tests is a terrible 1.6 and former England captain Michael Vaughan praised the off-spinner and Indian skipper Virat Kohli for setting up the dismissal shortly after lunch on day two of the Adelaide Test.
“Full credit to Ashwin and Virat Kohli. There was fortune involved but the field was set perfectly, the carrot was dangled and he bit it nicely. So often in the modern era, you see the field drop deep for the spinners and they allow easy singles, particularly for batsman that first come to the crease. He bowled it slower and wider to said to Shaun Marsh ‘play the big shot’. I don’t care how good you are when you first get the crease, you are vulnerable. His eyes lit up and saw the boundary, good tactics," said the former England skipper.Published 07 Dec 2018, 15:16 IST