Mitchell Marsh booed by MCG crowd after he replaces local boy Peter Handscomb

Mitchell Marsh booed by MCG crowd after he replaces local boy Peter Handscomb

Marsh made his comeback after the Pakistan Test series in October.

Mitchell Marsh
Mitchell Marsh. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has been derided a number of times ahead of the ongoing Test series against India as a “neither this nor that” player. The 27-year-old was overlooked for the first two Tests in Adelaide and Perth, his home ground, but was picked for the third in Melbourne, however, was booed by the crowd when he was called upon to bowl the 20th over of the first day. Marsh replaced local boy Peter Handscomb who has had a quiet series so far with just 68 runs from four innings but the fans did not like him being dropped.

Marsh and Handscomb have been playing for the Baggy Greens alternatively since the last Ashes at home last year but neither has produced anything extraordinary to cement their places in the team. Fifteen-Test veteran Handscomb who averages 39 in the longest format was not picked for the series against Pakistan in the UAE and got dropped again after the first two Tests against India with Marsh replacing him.

However, Marsh averages below 30 in Tests after playing 30 matches and in the last five games, his batting average is 10.4 against Handscomb’s 17.1. The only factor favouring Marsh, however, is his medium-fast bowling, something that Handscomb lacks. Marsh bowled well on Day 1 of the game after Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat.

He was the most economical of the home team bowlers with just 14 runs from 10 overs though went without a wicket. India were 132 for 2 in the 60th over in an otherwise slow batting display. Debutant Mayank Agarwal made a well-crafted 76 after opening the innings with Hanuma Vihari who fell for just eight. Pat Cummins picked both the Indian wickets.

When young Adam Gilchrist too was booed

The booing incident came up for discussion in the commentary box for Fox where former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist was present with eminent commentator and analyst Harsha Bhogle. The two discussed a similar incident that had happened years ago when a young Gilchrist walked out in Perth only to be catcalled by the local crowd for he was replacing Western Australia’s long-time wicket-keeper Tim Zoehrer.

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