Shaun Marsh
Shaun Marsh (AFP Photo)

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has advised Australia against dropping out-of-form batsman Shaun Marsh calling him one of the most “gifted cricketers” the country has produced.

Since his century in the Ashes series against England in January 2018, Marsh has touched 40 just once across 13 innings. In six successive innings he’s been unable to score in double-digits which is an Australian record.

Marsh is known to be a nervous starter and that proved to be the case on Day 2 of the first Test against India in Adelaide as well. He chased a wide delivery from offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin to drag it onto the stumps, managing just two runs before talking the long walk back to the dressing room.

Voices calling for his sacking from the Test squad are growing louder but Vaughan disagrees.

“Shaun Marsh’s inability to conquer his nervy starts in Test cricket is a concern, but it would be wrong to drop him for the second match against India. I think he’s one of, if not Australia’s most gifted player,” Vaughan wrote in his column for Foxsports.com.au.

“I never believe after one game of a series is a time to change. I always believe if you’re good enough for a place in the first match then you are for the second too, unless there’s a key player coming back from injury.

In reply to India’s 250-all out in first innings, Australia ended the second day at 191/7, still trailing by 59 runs. Vaughan feels that the result of the Test might end up deciding whether the 35-year-old Marsh manages to hold onto his place.

“I’d go with Marsh for his home Test in Perth but in his own mind he will know he’ll need some runs pretty soon. As a batsman, your currency is runs, and at this level, it’s hundreds. When you’ve gone six innings without even going over 10 – the first person in the Australian top five since 1888 to do so – then you know you’re under pressure.

“He’s very gifted but clearly he’s a poor starter. As soon as he’s been in for a while he’s a beautiful player – he plays as well as anybody. Every time he comes out you can hear people start to worry and hide behind the curtains for those first 10 balls.”

He continued, “Only he knows why he struggles with them. He’s too good a player to have these moments and look so fragile at the start of the innings. The result of the first Test will play a big role in if he keeps his spot.”