What’s the story?
One of Australia’s middle-order mainstays, Shaun Marsh, will only come out to bat only if absolutely required by the Australian cricket team as he has jarred his back while fielding during day 3 of the final Test between India and Australia.
At the fall of the third wicket, Glenn Maxwell, who normally comes out to bat after Shaun Marsh, walked out to the middle.
Peter Handscomb replaces Steve Smith. Regular number 4 Shaun Marsh jarred his back while fielding but will bat #INDvAUS— Andrew Ramsey (@ARamseyCricket) March 27, 2017
Shaun Marsh has jarred his back but is OK to bat.— Ben Horne (@BenHorne8) March 27, 2017
Shaun Marsh was picked for this tour to counter the spin threat offered by the Indians as he is one of the best batsmen against spin in the Aussie arsenal. With the Australian side having already lost 3 wickets before wiping out India’s lead, they will be in major trouble if Marsh fails to bat.
Left-handed Shaun Marsh is the most experienced batsman in the Australian middle-order. The likes of Handscomb and Maxwell are still relatively new in Test cricket and with the series on the line, he was expected to play a starring role for the visitors.
Having failed in the first Test at Pune, Marsh showed signs of form in the second Test at Bangalore with a half-century before stitching together a superb knock of 66 in Ranchi to help his side save the Test match.
India scored 332 in response to Australia’s first innings total of 300. While a 32-run lead is not massive, the hosts managed to take the wickets of openers David Warner and Matt Renshaw along with in-form Steven Smith by the time the Aussies scored 31 runs.
Marsh has a career average of just over 37 in 22 Tests, but his ability to play spin well is what sets him apart. The latest update is that he is still trying to recover from the injury, having jarred his back. He will be hoping his teammates do him a favour by recovering from the early fall of wickets to post a commanding lead.
This comes as an absolute body blow to the visitors considering the form that Shaun Marsh has shown in the last two matches. India’s Virat Kohli was in a similar situation in the second Test, and while he came out to bat, he was not nearly as effective. Australia will have to plan for a recovery without Shaun Marsh.