Unbelievable run-out continues Australia’s batting collapse

Shaun Marsh was one of three Australians out to Mohammad Abbas on Wednesday
Shaun Marsh was one of three Australians out to Mohammad Abbas on Wednesday

AUSTRALIA is in disarray in its first innings on day two of the second Test in Abu Dhabi, with a shocking run-out for Marnus Labuschagne adding salt to the wounds.

Australia was 9-132, still 150 runs behind Pakistan's first innings of 282, after Labuschagne was caught napping at the non-striker's end.

A deflection from Yasir Shah saw the ball clatter into the stumps and while Labuschagne's bat was behind the crease it was not on the ground and he was sent on his way.

Australia had lost five wickets in the first session as the hosts exploited their soft batting underbelly to perfection.

Shaun Marsh (3) started the procession on Wednesday in just the fourth over and was followed in quick succession by Travis Head (14), Mitchell Marsh (13), Aaron Finch (39) and Tim Paine (3).  

Pakistani seamer Mohammad Abbas did the early damage, with Shaun Marsh (3) and Head (14) both edging him to the slips. The quick had accounted for Usman Khawaja (3) and Peter Siddle (4) on day one.

Paine's hopes of steadying the ship came to an abrupt end when he was trapped on the crease by Shah.

Australian Test captain Tim Paine.
Australian Test captain Tim Paine.

The ball from Shah got the better of the Aussie skipper who opted to review the decision and although the ball looked like it may have potentially gone close to missing leg stump, the decision was to stick with the umpire's call.

The second innings will be hugely decisive in whether one of Australian cricket's enigmas Shaun Marsh survives for the home summer with Matt Renshaw sweating on a return in the top three to face India.

Test great Mike Hussey said Shaun Marsh's future is on the line. In his 11 innings since making a blistering century in Sydney, Marsh has an average of 14.27 runs

"In reality, at the end of the day, you do need to be scoring runs," Hussey said.

"There's going to be a lot of discussion about his place in the team."

Marsh has failed to pass 50 in his past 11 Test innings this year at an average of just 14.

At 35 years of age and on his umpteenth chance, Marsh could finally be facing a final crossroads where coach Justin Langer will have to make a tough call on one of his favourite sons.

The only thing that could save him if he slumps to another low score in Abu Dhabi would be his experience at a time when Steve Smith and David Warner are banned for 12 months and his stronger record on home soil.

But if Australia is serious about performing a complete rebuild under their new coach, it's hard to see how Marsh can hold on much longer if he can't turn things around and young stars like Renshaw are knocking down the door.