Former Australia captain Allan Border has come up with a bold “left-field” idea to solve the side’s opener crisis, and it involves Shaun Marsh opening innings for the team in the first Test against India at Adelaide. It could be a stop-gap measure but he believes that Australia would need experience at the top of the order.
The injuries to David Warner and Will Pucovski, combined with the terrible form of Joe Burns, have presented a headache for Australia regarding the opening slot.
David Warner had torn his adductor muscle while fielding in the second ODI against India. He missed the rest of the limited-overs leg and has now been officially ruled out of the first Test.
Meanwhile, the 22-year-old Will Pucovski suffered the ninth concussion of his career, getting hit by a vicious bouncer from Kartik Tyagi during Australia A’s three-day game against India A.
Allan Border told Fox Sports News:
“Right out of left field, I think maybe even Shaun Marsh could be one of those stop gap guys given the experience we need at the top of the order.”
The legendary Australian batsman added that bringing back Marcus Harris or promoting Marnus Labuschagne up the order could also be options that the team management could consider. He continued:
“You could move Marnus Labuschagne up to the top of the order. He’s shown that he can handle the new ball; batting at number three you have to do a bit of that at times […] Marcus Harris has been in some good touch, he could be one of those young bolters that could come in and do the job for you.”
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 8, 2020
Shaun Marsh, 37, had a good first-class season for Western Australia, averaging 97 from six matches, which included three centuries. This probably prompted Border to choose Shaun Marsh as a probable candidate for the opening slot.
Marcus Harris, who is also a contender for the opening slot, has averaged 103.75 this summer, including a double century in the Sheffield Shield.
The choice might come down to the performance in Australia A’s final tour game against India A which is scheduled to start on Friday.
This game is also going to be important for Joe Burns, who has averaged a paltry 8.70 runs in the last seven first-class innings, including 4&0 against India A in the first tour match.
JUST IN: The Australia A 12-man squad to play India: Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Alex Carey (c, wk), Harry Conway, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson, Ben McDermott, Mark Steketee, Will Sutherland, Mitchell Swepson #AUSvIND
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 9, 2020