India A v Australians, tour match, Mumbai, 2nd day February 18, 2017

Australians thrive with Mitchell Marsh fifty

ESPNcricinfo staff

India A 176 for 4 (Iyer 85*) trail Australians 469 for 7 dec (Smith 107, Shaun Marsh 104, Mitchell Marsh 75, Wade 64) by 293 runs

Mitchell Marsh followed in his brother Shaun's footsteps, with a fifty-plus score in the tour game against India A to perhaps bolster his chances of a Test recall. He spent over three hours at the crease in Mumbai, making 75 off 159 balls with 11 fours and a six to help the Australians declare on 469 for 7 on the second day.

Australia have been struggling for an allrounder to make the No. 6 spot their own and Marsh had himself enjoyed a considerably long run before he was dropped after the home series loss to South Africa late last year. He averages only 23.18 from 19 Tests so far and bowls seam up, which may go against him considering the conditions in India and the fact Australia already have Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood in their squad to swing the new ball and reverse the old.

However, with his 17th first-class half-century, Marsh has done his bit to stay in contention. His nearest competitor appears to be Glenn Maxwell, who has his own issues with regards to playing up to potential in Test cricket. He is not established as a batsman, but on his day can still be explosive and can also chip in with a few overs of part-time offspin.

"I've certainly batted more than ever over the past few weeks, just trying to get better and trying to learn as much as I can," Marsh said of the opportunity presented by the need to rest his bowling shoulder. "You never want to get injured but it was nice to get a couple of weeks off, I'm feeling really strong at the moment so hopefully the body can hold up.

"Probably the biggest thing for me has just been softening my hands, in my defence and also in my attack as well. The later you hit the ball, the easier it is to hit gaps especially in the subcontinent when it's turning. If you have a solid defence, you can attack the balls that are there to attack and really back your defence.

"That's something I've learnt, playing in the subcontinent a couple of times now through my own experiences. I think I've just faced a lot more spin over the time, and I've learned that rotating the strike is really important, especially in the subcontinent for getting off strike."

India A's batsmen too profited on a Brabourne stadium pitch that was quite true. Shreyas Iyer smashed 85 off 93 balls with five sixes and seven fours at No. 3. He was unbeaten at stumps, alongside Rishabh Pant, who was batting on 3.

For the Australians, Jackson Bird was highly economical with a spell of 11-7-15-2 while Nathan Lyon provided the first wicket of the innings, dismissing Akhil Herwadkar and later accounted for Priyank Panchal, the top-scorer in India's premier domestic first-class tournament, the Ranji Trophy, in 2016-17.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BRADMANBESTEVER on February 19, 2017, 11:33 GMT

    @AUSSIENSW rofl! I am looking forward to the time when Dickwella, de Kock and Head play in the same game.

  • opto_pus on February 19, 2017, 11:26 GMT

    In the middle order a number five batsmen like Ajinke Rahane whom scored 82 and 28 in the second innings against Bangladesh is considered a better bet against Australia. Even though the test series is being played in India on turning pitches where Karun Nair is head and shoulders a better player of spin bowlers than Ajinke Rahane whom looked completely at sea against England playing a c grade spin bowler in Adil Rashid. Once the first two tests against Australia have been played and Ajinke Rahane averages his usual 30 runs an innings the indian selectors will see sense in resting Rahane and play Karun Nair whom let's be honest should be playing from the first test of the four test series against the feeble Australian side that folded like a deck of cards against Sri Lanka. Australia are the worst touring side in Asia out the non Asian sides of England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. People and fans whom think Australia will compete in India are kidding themselves.

  • opto_pus on February 19, 2017, 11:09 GMT

    When India have genuinely talented top order batsmen like Shreyas Iyer in this matched showed and Parthiv Patel as genuine test opening batsmen, why do Indian selectors continue to play players over 35 like Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni that have never really performed in overseas conditions, with the Champions Trophy (CT) in mind. Lokesh Rahul played three test against England as did Parthiv Patel but Parthiv Patel was allot more consistent throughout the series with his scoring and still had a better average in the series than Lokesh Rahul. Parthiv Patel series average: 65.00, Lokesh Rahul 58.25 but if you take away that 199, I believe KL Rahul's average would have been about 10. Looking at such statistics the selectors choose Rahul ahead of Parthiv Patel for an easy test against Bangladesh and again Rahul practically gives his wicket away in the first over against the weakest test playing nation in the first over of the day, with what could only be described as an outlandish hoick.

  • Vnott on February 19, 2017, 11:06 GMT

    Nice to see SS Iyer grab his opportunity with a lovely double century. Also good knock from Gautham. But was very surprised to see SS Iyer who does not bowl at Ranji levels getting to bowl 12 overs in Aus first Innings when a chap like Gautham who has had a good season in Ranji with the ball does not get a bowl. Guess Hardik did not know that Gautham bowls.

    Pity that Bawne, Panchal and Pant did not grab their opportunities. Should be interesting to see if any of them break thru soon.

  • kingkohli on February 19, 2017, 10:49 GMT

    how can bird be picked ahead of Cummins anywhere against anyone, this shows the intelligence of aus selectors like I previously mentioned.

  • kingkohli on February 19, 2017, 10:46 GMT

    @seniorgators, u mistook my meaning of past, according to me past is the passed away legends of aus and present means the present bunch of players who have been playing from 2-3 years consistently and I have always assessed Thier performance in my previous comments and suggested what r the improvements that needs to be done and also replied to the people abt that performance and not abt the retired legends or the previous teams of aus like what u mentioned abt winning 5 world cups and all in the past

  • csowmi7 on February 19, 2017, 10:38 GMT

    Didn't even know Pant could bowl before this match and he's gone ahead and taken the wicket of Handscomb in this match. Always nice to have handy part time bowlers to go along with the primary skill like Kedar Jhadav who New Zealand found extremely difficult to face.

  • cricketsubh on February 19, 2017, 10:36 GMT

    Australia should add at least one regular batsman Maxwell out of form I think Australia can add bailey or Henriques

  • Scuderi on February 19, 2017, 10:31 GMT

    All the batsman have had some time in the middle, and the bowlers had to work for wickets, with smith experementing with fields. l would us to dominate more, but its been a good hit out.

  • cricketsubh on February 19, 2017, 10:20 GMT

    Canttwaitosee@ Ashwin jadega herath bowl well in subcontinent conditions because they good line and lengths with right pace Lyon always bowls very slow that's why batsman's have the time to play him in subcontinent conditions spinners needs to bowl little quicker because pitches are slow in subcontinent

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