Shaun Marsh has what it takes at the highest level
The good news story out of the Adelaide Oval test was the resounding century from Shaun Marsh in the first innings.
The much-maligned batsman produced a stunning knock of 126 not out to set up the game-winning declaration, in a time where his fellow Aussie batsmen were failing to capitalise on their starts.
A controversial selection in yet another summer of cricket, Marsh’s innings illustrated as much resilience as it did skill and ability. Coming in at number six, Marsh hit 15 fours and an emphatic six off the bowling of Stuart Broad, registering his 126 off 231 deliveries. Could be set for a move up the order if Peter Handscomb fails to keep his place in the side.
The Day-Night Test is a brilliant spectacle
The Day-Night Test put on yet another exquisite display of sporting entertainment. The pink ball providing the viewers at home night sessions packed with hooping cherries and plenty of runs. It received rave reviews from countless fans on social media, some touting Day-Night test cricket as the world’s best sporting spectacle, allowing your everyday worker to come home to a night of exciting cricket, full of twists and turns.
The third night was perhaps the greatest advertisement for the concept, with Jimmy Anderson turning the match and nearly the series on it’s head with a devastating spell of swing bowling. Day-Night cricket is here to stay and one can expect more venues to follow suit with the stunning spectacle put on by the Adelaide Oval.
James Anderson is still the world’s premier swing bowler
After an average Gabba Test that left pundits again questioning Anderson’s ability to take wickets in Australia, the all-time leading English wicket-taker gave a brutal reminder of his remarkable ability with the rock.
Day three, with England devoid of confidence and seemingly any hope in the contest, up stepped Anderson, tearing through the Australian top order with relentless swing bowling of the highest order. Anderson’s spell was as good as you’ll see anywhere in the world, with the conditions with the new pink ball under lights suiting him perfectly, taking the wickets of Bancroft, Khawaja and Handscomb to get his side back in the game. Old man still got it.
The Australian side isn’t set in stone
Despite leading the Ashes series two games to nil, the Aussie side is far from cemented from a batting point of view, with numerous players under the pump to lift their performance.
Peter Handscomb leads the department of individuals under the pump, failing to produce high scores so far this summer and with doubters over his technique placing scrutiny over his place in the side.
Usman Khawaja is another who will want a decent WACA test to relieve pressure on his spot, as will opener Cameron Bancroft who will be given more contests to prove his worth. With Mitch Marsh called into the squad, it will be interesting to see who (if anyone) makes way for the WA all-rounder, with Handscomb’s position the most under threat.
Steve Smith is human
Well it turns out Steve Smith is human after all. After the Aussie skipper’s astounding first test performance, Smith experienced the rigours of captaining an Ashes series, scoring 40 and six runs in his two innings and dropping a catch he woul usually snaffle up off Nathan Lyon’s bowling.
However, the most topical aspect of his match was the decision not to enforce the follow-on, one that came close to losing the home side the test from an insurmountable position. Albeit, all’s well that ends well, with the Aussie bowling attack getting a valuable rest and eventually delivering a comfortable win on the final day. It’d take a brave man to predict another poor outing from the superstar.