Sport The Ashes: Mitch Marsh's recall by Australia sparks debate, but is it such a bad thing?

06:16  07 december  2017
06:16  07 december  2017 Source:   MSN

Mitch Marsh in the mix for Test recall

  Mitch Marsh in the mix for Test recall Australia could add an allrounder to their XI as early as the third Test and don't be surprised if it's Mitch Marsh who is given the call-up. Australia's great allrounder debate is set to be reignited next week, with Mitch Marsh having resumed bowling after his shoulder reconstruction.National selectors named a 13-man squad for the first and second Ashes Tests and will be reluctant to change a winning side should Australia grab a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.But they will also be keen to give frontline pacemen Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins some form of respite during the remaining Tests.

Australia ' s great allrounder debate is set to be reignited next week, with Mitch Marsh having resumed bowling after his shoulder reconstruction. National selectors named a 13-man squad for the first and second Ashes Tests and will be reluctant to change a winning side should Australia grab a 2-0 lead

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It's fast becoming one of Australian cricket's most worn out debates, but here we are again — one of the Marsh brothers is in an Australian Test squad, and everyone's head is falling off.

WACA deck to determine Mitch Marsh's fate

  WACA deck to determine Mitch Marsh's fate Australian allrounder Mitch Marsh is set to earn a recall for the third Ashes Test against England if the WACA deck looks to be a batsman-friendly pitch.Marsh's selection hopes for the third Ashes Test against England in Perth could rest on the state of the WACA Ground pitch.

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The Aussie selectors, perhaps buoyed by the dramatic about-face the public was forced to undertake after Shaun belted a glorious century in Adelaide, have only gone and brought Mitch into the 13-man squad for the third Test in Perth.

Of course, this is no guarantee he will play. Indeed, Australia would probably prefer to remain unchanged through the entirety of the series if it could help it.

But the desire for an all-rounder as cover — especially as Peter Handscomb's work at the crease has been, in every sense of the word, scratchy — has seen Mitch Marsh brought to the verge of a recall.

"I probably didn't think it was going to happen so soon, but in saying that I feel like I'm in really good form at the moment and it's nice to be back playing as an all-rounder," Marsh said on Thursday.

Handscomb a very good player: Mitch Marsh

  Handscomb a very good player: Mitch Marsh Mitch Marsh says it is normal for Test players to come under scrutiny if they don't score runs but it's worth remembering Peter Handscomb almost averages 50.Marsh, who recently resumed bowling and earlier this season impressed selectors with his domestic form as a batsman, was rushed into Australia's 13-man squad for the third Test that starts on Thursday.

Just like clockwork, Shaun Marsh ' s return to Australia 's line-up for the first Ashes Test at the Gabba has caused a stir among cricket fans. Firstly, you weren't happy that Shaun Marsh was recalled (with a few exceptions). Honduras election: Army enforces curfew after vote sparks deadly protests.

To make matters worse for Renshaw, five out his six dismissals were identical. One thing in Australia ’ s favour is their bowling. In Starc, Cummins, Hazlewood and Lyon, they have an attack Also See. Ashes 2017: Tim Paine gets Test recall after seven years in new-look Australian squad.

"I lost a bit of confidence [after being dropped] but that's all part of cricket at the highest level. Right now I'm feeling really good about my game."

Of course, the elephant in the room is Glenn Maxwell. For now, Australian cricket's biggest show remains stuck behind a curtain despite a quite sensational run of form.

So why have they gone for Mitch? And do the reasons actually stand up?

There's a theory that a flatter pitch at the WACA means longer stints in the field for bowling teams, and a fifth bowler could be a welcome addition to give the big four a break.

It makes sense on paper, and the stats back up the suggestion a team is likely to spend more time in the field in Perth, but to what extent?

In the last five Tests at the WACA, the average length of innings has been 91 overs — the most of any Test ground in Australia.

Mitch Marsh of Australia looks on. © Robert Cianflone/Getty Images Mitch Marsh of Australia looks on. But compare that to an average innings length of 85 overs at the Gabba, 85 in Adelaide, 89 in Melbourne and 82 in Sydney, and the difference really is negligible.

Mitch Marsh added to the Aussie Ashes squad

  Mitch Marsh added to the Aussie Ashes squad <p>At the start of the Ashes series, Shaun Marsh's selection sent ex-players and fans alike into a meltdown.</p>Mitch Marsh has fought his way back into the Aussie set-up as selectors consider playing an all-rounder to provide a back-up for their big three: Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins.

With the temptation to rest at least some of Australia ' s frontline pace bowlers at some point during the Ashes series, all-rounder Mitch Marsh could factor as a selection chance after recovering from shoulder reconstruction.

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Maybe one spell of three or four overs an innings at most.

In all honesty, this seems to be the only thing that has earned Marsh the nod over some of his state rivals. And if that's the case, then fair enough.

Even Marsh himself acknowledged as much — "it's great to see Maxy scoring runs, if they wanted a spinning all-rounder he'd probably be in but we're pretty different players."

Though it must be pointed out there is an inherent risk in picking a player on the back of his bowling when he has a combined 22 overs and two wickets behind him this season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Marsh only returned to bowling competitively in the last Shield match for WA, and even that was an earlier return than expected.

Still, Glenn Maxwell can't send them down at 135km/h, so selectors may well be prepared to take the punt on Marsh's shiny new shoulder.

Take all the other factors out of the equation, and you can't really argue with this at all — Mitch Marsh is smoking them at the moment.

Even in the innings he hasn't quite gone on with, Marsh has been hitting the ball so purely and with a technique custom built for the bounce of Australian pitches.

Comment: Picking Mitch Marsh over Maxwell is madness

  Comment: Picking Mitch Marsh over Maxwell is madness Australia’s batting is its major shortcoming in Tests, so it makes no sense to further weaken the top six by selecting tried-and-failed all-rounder Mitchell Marsh for the third Ashes Test this week.&nbsp;All-rounders typically are picked to enhance the balance of a cricket team, but in the case of Marsh, the effect is opposite. Given the supreme strength of Australia’s bowling attack, their fifth bowler need only be a modest performer capable of keeping things reasonably tight while the specialists rest.

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They were worse defensively under Thibs than Mitchell * -.

He's averaging 44.66 in the Shield this season, and is fresh off a knock of 141 against Queensland at the WACA. He's probably batting as well as he ever as.

Sure, Maxwell is averaging 73.75 in the same number of matches and scored a ridiculous 278 just a couple of weeks ago, but we've already been over the reasons why he seems to be behind Marsh, whether you agree with them or not.

There is certainly a compelling case to be made for Mitch Marsh to be a member of the Australian Test team for this match and beyond. If fit and playing at something near his potential, he fills a gaping hole in the Australian team.

But there are just as many legitimate reasons as to why it's a strange call, especially considering just how well Maxwell is playing at the moment, and how little bowling Marsh has under his belt.

All the angst may be for nothing though, should the selectors keep faith in Handscomb in Perth, but if nothing else his inclusion in the squad shows a Mitch Marsh Test recall is not too far away.

But it's certainly not as crazy a selection as the Facebook comments would lead you to believe.

Aussie selection punts paying off .
Australian cricket selectors could be excused for feeling smug as their Ashes gambles pay off. Maybe they're not morons after all.Australian cricket selectors could be excused for feeling smug.They were labelled idiots, confused and morons for their Ashes selections.But their punts are paying off.Shaun Marsh, in his eighth coming to the Test side, is making runs and appearing rock solid.So is Tim Paine, who wasn't even wicketkeeping for his state when named in Australia's team for the Test series against England. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.

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