Australia A v India A, Brisbane, 3rd day

Marsh, Whiteman flatten India A with huge stand

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 8, 2014

Comments: 39 | Text size: A | A

Australia A 9 for 522 (Marsh 211, Whiteman 174, Bumrah 4-128) lead India A 9 for 475 dec by 47 runs
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Sam Whiteman and Mitchell Marsh shared a 371-run partnership, Australia A v India A, 1st unofficial Test, Brisbane, 3rd day, July 8, 2014
Sam Whiteman and Mitchell Marsh both scored big hundreds in Brisbane © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Mitchell Marsh | Sam Whiteman
Series/Tournaments: India A tour of Australia
Teams: Australia | India

It was only one innings of one match in the middle of winter, but it is just possible that Australian cricket will look back on this as the day it found successors to Brad Haddin and Shane Watson. At the very least, it was the day that Mitchell Marsh and Sam Whiteman rewrote the record books, combining for a 371-run partnership that rescued Australia A from a seemingly terminal 6 for 99 against India A in Brisbane.

It was the highest seventh-wicket stand in a first-class match in Australia, breaking the record of 335 set by Queensland's Cassie Andrews and Eric Bensted back in 1934-35. Only once in all of first-class history has there been a higher seventh-wicket partnership, the 460 made by Bhupinder Singh jnr and Pankaj Dharmani for Punjab against Delhi in the Ranji Trophy semi-final of 1994-95.

Marsh finished with 211, his second first-class century and his first double; Whiteman ended up with 174, the first time he had reached triple figures in a first-class outing. But the most impressive aspect of their work was that the stand was built from perilous circumstances, for when they came together late on the second day at Allan Border Field, Australia A were still 376 runs short of India A's first-innings score, with only four wickets in hand.

The hosts finished the third day with a lead of 47, and still at the crease. By then it was Cameron Boyce, who had moved on to 16, and Chadd Sayers, who was on 3, as the total progressed to 9 for 522. All three wickets had fallen late in the day: Whiteman caught on the boundary when he swept Karun Nair, Ben Cutting bowled by Jasprit Bumrah for 11, and Marsh run out in a mix-up with Boyce.

By then it was all academic. Marsh and Whiteman had not only saved their team, they had done so in front of the national coach Darren Lehmann, who was watching on as selector on duty. Last week, Lehmann had told coaches at Cricket Australia's high-performance conference in Brisbane that his top priority was generating more consistent first-innings runs; the two young Western Australians could have done no more to impress him.

Marsh struck 21 fours and 10 sixes in his 294-ball innings. His talent has never been doubted, and has earned him seven games for his country in the shorter formats, but this was the kind of innings that will make the selectors consider him for Test squads as well. Australia have a supply of bowling allrounders including James Faulkner, but if they want a batting allrounder to succeed Watson, Marsh, 22, might develop into their man.

Whiteman, also 22, might have pushed in front of men like Matthew Wade and Tim Paine with this performance, and could find himself the next man called up if Haddin needs a backup. When Whiteman and Peter Nevill were chosen for the winter Australia A games, then national selector John Inverarity said they gained their chances because Wade and Paine were "well regarded, known quantities".

Inverarity's successor, Rod Marsh, and his panel will know a lot more about Whiteman after this. He struck 26 fours and one six in his 278-ball stay and it followed on from an outstanding Sheffield Shield season for Western Australia, in which he made 687 runs at 45.80 and topped the competition tally for wicketkeeping dismissals, with 45 victims.

Australia's selectors can also be grateful that Whiteman has not followed his namesake, Sam Robson, in pursuing a career with England. Born in Yorkshire, Whiteman moved with his family to Australia at three, and he said that had the opportunity arisen to further his career with England while playing league cricket there at the age of 18, he might have stayed.

Instead, he was on hand to help Marsh rescue Australia A. Their work will likely lead to a draw, with only one day to play.

After the day's play, Marsh said he was happy to see Whiteman score his maiden first-class hundred and credited his own performance to a long break that helped him work on his game. Marsh had opted out of IPL 2014 and was focused on improving his fitness.

"I was supposed to go to England but that didn't work out but it was good to have a break and get away for a bit, focus on red-ball cricket and change a few things," Marsh said. "Today is a little reward but it's just the start and hopefully I can keep progressing."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 7:13 GMT)

xtrafalgarx - good point but surely steve o keiffe can play in subcontinent where Australia might play 2 spinners. He bats well as well so can be used as a spin bowling all rounder. @arun nayar - really u are judging him by one game - that too on dead pitch. Ishant has been ordinary for at least 40 of the 55 games he's played. surely yadav has to be picked instead.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 6:46 GMT)

Whatever may be the calibre of OZ bowling (not bad at all) ; and the nature of the pitch, Naman Ojha seems to be in the form of his life.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 6:42 GMT)

By second innings, our (Indian) boys seem to have learnt to play Boyce well!

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (July 9, 2014, 5:10 GMT)

@David Priol: I tink you are getting ahead of yourself. It'ss amazing how someone's stock grown so when they are not in the team. SOK will never play ahead of lyon, right or wrong it maybe. It takes too long to develop a good spinner, too much time to start afresh. Lyon has now toured the world, India, the Carribean, SA, Sri Lanka, England and has over 100 test wickets at 26 years of age - why trade that in for a 29 year old who will have to start the whole learning process internationally for another 2 years?

By the time Lyon gets to the age O'Keefe is now he could have well over 200 wickets, over 60 tests caps and could be a top, top class off spinner - not to mention he is also the song maester. No point picking O'Keefe ahead of Lyon, though i hope they pick him as the second spinning option in PAK and for future tours on the subcontinent.

Posted by dunger.bob on (July 9, 2014, 3:37 GMT)

@ David Priol : I've got a feeling you might be mixing up Doolan and Doran. Jake Doran is the 16-17 y.o who was our best bat in the under 19 world cup and who also played against the Poms in the Alice Springs tour match.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 1:46 GMT)

Hey Warren, I like your comments and agree with you mostly although you fail to mention James Faulkner, who could be a top player for us in test matches. I think Maxwell and Maddinson show more promise and skill than Doran. O'Keefe is the best spinner in the country and would be even better if the ACB gave him some confidence. He does very well despite being crapped on by them. I like Nathan Lyon, but I think Steve has the better match winning potential. We need to take some of these players on the next English tour, particularly Whiteman and Marsh.

Posted by   on (July 9, 2014, 1:27 GMT)

Well done by Whiteman and the younger Marsh. But let's not get too carried away. As good as they were, this was only one innings in one match. Great to see newcomers produce, but let's wait for some consistency, which is what the national selectors shpuld, and probably do, want.

Posted by S_M_G on (July 9, 2014, 0:55 GMT)

What is the point in making 20 year old bowled over 40 overs. Seniors do not pull weight. Captain should know better. I don't want him come back with bad back.

Posted by   on (July 8, 2014, 17:22 GMT)

Aussie team 3 to 5 years from now: Carters, Silk, Warner, Doran, Smith (C), M Marsh, Whiteman, Starc, Muirhead, Pattinson, Cummins / Hazlewood. Of course there are several other players with immense talent (Ferguson, Burns, Khawaja, Lynn, Maxwell, Maddinson, Patterson, O Keefe, Behrendorff, Boyce, Sayers, Rose etc) that might upset this prediction, but that can only be good. What vile act has o keefe committed by the way? Ive never seen such a good record denied for so long - especially when such an obvious need for a decent player was present. Not saying lyon hasnt been good, but surely you cant deny him as a backup at least?

Posted by JustIPL on (July 8, 2014, 16:33 GMT)

Suddenly, belters are being presented to indian tours. Examples are SA/NZ series, this A series in aus vs ind where batsmen piled up the tons of runs. Same is going to be in england in upcoming india series as curator remarks were aired few days back to avoid 180ish totals. Looks like it is done to a purpose of keeping the big 3 boss happy and attract more indian fans with fat pockets to the stadiums worldwide. It keeps opposition bowlers a bit more ineffective so that even average batsmen score tons.

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