Shaun Marsh’s 130-year-old nightmare stat
SHAUN Marsh's feast-or-famine Test ride continues to polarize but history suggests the veteran is under serious pressure to continue his Baggy Ggreen journey.
Marsh is capable of thrilling and frustrating in equal measure but the gap between his six tons, nine half-centuries and failures have been a millstone over 35 Tests.
Marsh, 35, capped the worst run of scores under 10 runs by an Australian top-five batsman for 130 years with a pedestrian exit to Indian nemesis Ravi Ashwin in the second session on Friday.
Marsh is the last Australian batsman in the top five to make six consecutive single-figure scores since George Bonnor in 1888.
Marsh has been dismissed for 7, 7, 0, 3, 4 and 2 stretching back to the Wanderers Test against South Africa in March.
Bonnor never played again after making a duck - his 10th score under 10 - at Old Trafford when caught by WG Grace off brilliant England all-rounder Bobby Peel.
Skipper Tim Paine said Mitch Marsh was axed as the all-rounder's numbers didn't stack up and his older sibling must deliver in Australia's second innings.
Having argued for Mitch Marsh's exclusion from the first Test, strident critic Geoff Lawson's push for 'perpetual disappointment' Shaun Marsh's axing could gain momentum.
Marsh dragged a wide and full Ashwin delivery onto his stumps from the final ball of the first over after lunch, walking into a trap set by Indian skipper Virat Kohli.
"Full credit to Ashwin and Virat Kohli. There was fortune involved but the field was set perfectly, the carrot was dangled and he bit it nicely," former England skipper Michael Vaughan said.
Ashwin has claimed Marsh five times in Tests at an average of 1.6.
"So often in the modern era you see the field drop deep for the spinners and they allow easy singles, particularly for batsman that first come to the crease. He bowled it slower and wider to said to Shaun Marsh 'play the big shot'," Vaughan said.
"I don't care how good you are when you first get the crease, you are vulnerable. His eyes lit up and saw the boundary, good tactics."
Deprived of Steve Smith and David Warner, Australian coach Justin Langer keeps investing faith in Marsh who can destroy any attack once set and made 141 on debut in Sri Lanka during 2011.
However the Western Australian's nervous starts have contributed to 26 Test dismissals for less than 10.
Marsh's Test average has dropped from 40 after Australia's Kingsmead Test win to 34.7.
Marsh now has seven scores of under three in 13 innings against India in Australia which is a familiar echo to the finish of father Geoff's career.
Former Australian opener Geoff Marsh's last five Test scores of 10, 8, 4, 8, and 5 were also against India during 1991-92.
Marsh had, ironically, sealed his spot for the Border-Gavaskar series opener with an unbeaten 163 as Western Australia chased 313 against South Australia in Adelaide last month.
Joe Burns and Glenn Maxwell remain candidates for recalls should selectors lose patience with Marsh.