India v Australia series: Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh firming for Test tour of India

09/10/2019 Posted by admin

Bowling brief: Mitchell Marsh. Photo: Paul KaneSelectors are strongly considering taking all-rounders Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh to India as part of a radical plan to increase their batting depth for the mighty challenge on the subcontinent.
Nanjing Night Net

Just months after their Test prospects were hit for six, the pair are now firming as key additions to what would be one of the more unusual looking sides Australia have fielded in the five-day arena.

Trevor Hohns’ panel is in the process of finalising their squad for the four-Test series and are prepared to look outside the square for solutions to end Australia’s woes on the subcontinent.

And it would not get much more left-field than playing Maxwell and Marsh at numbers seven and eight as part of a lengthened batting line-up that would also provide extra options with the ball.

Their selection would raise eyebrows given the pair’s travails this summer but both have the weapons Australia need for success against the world No.1 – and are much stronger bowlers than incumbent all-rounder Hilton Cartwright.

While Maxwell’s skills as a hard-hitting batsman and capable spin bowler have long been thought of as vital in India, for Marsh it’s his credentials with the ball which could fast-track his Test recall five games after he was axed.

With an average of 23, Marsh’s batting was not deemed up to the standard for a top-six batsman however his bowling is much more highly rated.

Marsh’s ability to break the 140 km/h mark has him high up in calculations for selectors, who are hunting for a third quick who can bowl at high speed to support front men Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

So desperate are selectors for a quick who is fast through the air, it’s understood the line has not been put through Pat Cummins for the tour despite the paceman’s desire to take a more gradual return to Test cricket after his lengthy battles with injury.

Marsh would bat in the lower order with the hope the reduced responsibility would give him the freedom to play his preferred aggressive game.

While Maxwell’s batting is considered his stronger suit, his off-spin has put him in the frame – possibly even at the expense of Nathan Lyon. Lyon is the superior bowler but his poor form on the subcontinent will be weighing heavily on selectors.

By picking Maxwell, they would have an explosive hitter in the middle and lower order who can turn the game in a session.

Steve O’Keefe, whose ability to keep the run rate down is highly valued, would then play as the No.1 spinner. The weakness in the plan is the poor form of wicketkeeper Matthew Wade though there is a chance Australia could be fielding a team where the No.10 has a first-class average in the 20s.

The over reliance on bit part players was viewed as a weakness in England’s failure in India, where they were trounced 4-0 despite three first innings scores of 400 or more. Coach and selector Darren Lehmann said things would have been different had England scored 500-plus.

“You need to make big, big scores and put pressure on India that way,” Lehmann said.

“I thought they played reasonably well with the bat so the challenge for our batting group is going big, much like we’ve done in the last two Test matches.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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