Marshing on forward

Australia’s long wait for a concreted all-rounder within the test side may be over.

Reports suggest that Justin Langer may have even cracked a smile this week!

Infamous ‘ring-in’ player Mitchell Marsh’s unpopular 50/50 'coin toss' like selections over the last few Summer’s may have come to an end. Promising performances by Queensland's Michael Neser and Western Australia’s Ashton Agar in this week’s opening round of the Sheffield Shield show great hope for the long awaited, consistent Australian Test all-rounder position.

Neser and Agar producing memorable performances with both bat and ball in the first innings for their respected State’s. 

30 year old Neser’s line and length bowling saw him claim 5 wickets off 17 overs for just 32 runs. With an economy of just 1.88, a number similar to Mitchell Marsh’s Test hundred conversion rate…

An instrumental 167 from Australian cult hero Marnus Labuschagne (La-Boo-Shane - I think...?), along with some tidy performances from Queensland’s middle order built the innings and set the precedent for Neser to go out there and f**king swing against Tim Paine’s Tasmanian's.

Neser, surprisingly, then went on to dabble and nudge a classy 121 off 168. This then gave the men in maroon a first innings lead of 279. Clearly the Tassy boys had a few too many James Boags the night before…

Similarly, on a road of a pitch down in Adelaide, Ashton Agar decided to make it his prerogative to go to work on his little brother Wes’ South Australian side. Agar, who’s ears still manage to fit within his helmet, displayed a mature innings. The South Australian top order decided to take a note out of Shane Watson’s book and failed to convert their half centuries to 100’s. Nevertheless, Agar unlike his Test debut made it to triple figures, finishing on an unbeaten 114*. Him and middle order partner Josh Inglis (153*) put on a 266 run stand before declaration. 

What is it with Australian spinners and large, bald heads?

Ashton Agar - in Gary Lyon style - impressed with ball in hand, tearing through the South Australian bottom order. In ruthless, big brother backyard cricket fashion, he caught and bowled little Brother Wes on just 4. He then finished with 5/103 off 33 overs. A great start to the season with family bragging rights surfacing in just the first innings of the match.

It’s all happening in Round 1 of the Shield, and with form like this- Justin ‘happy’ Langer might be smiling all Summer round.

Can we finally say goodbye to Mitch Marsh?

Let’s hope a new era of All Rounders’ emerge that don’t just perform in Shield cricket...


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