It felt like smooth sailing for the Indian cricket team as the score read 'Australia 26/2'. Enter Shaun Marsh, who had scored 54 but was caught out by Mohammed Shami off Kuldeep Yadav in the first ODI, and oh, how things changed.
The way the wickets were falling for the Indian bowlers, Marsh was presumed to be no more than a small curb in their way. Boy, were they wrong.January 15, 2019
Forgetting the batting woes of his past, especially in the longest format of the game, Marsh looked a new man. Putting up massive partnerships, first with Usman Khawaja (53 runs) and later on with Glenn Maxwell (93 runs), Marsh was reaching for the boundary at will.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and even debutant Mohammed Siraj were all taken to school as the Aussie batsman hit a total of 11 fours and three sixes in his 131-run innings, which makes it his best innings in Australia till date.
The ton is his seventh overall and also makes him the first Australian to score in three digits in any international format of the game, since Marsh had scored 106 in the third ODI in South Africa on 11th November, last year.
His performance against India comes at the best possible time, especially when the selectors at Cricket Australia are looking for in-form players to prepare the best team that they can for the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup.
With Australia's best cricketers namely Steve Smith and David Warner having suspended contracts under Cricket Australia for the infamous ball-tampering case against South Africa in March, last year, and Tim Paine's excruciating failure as the skipper during the Border-Gavaskar cup against India, the team is desperately searching for a good leader and Shaun Marsh fits all the categories like a glove.
While the Australian fans are head over heels after the batsman's exceptional knock, the Indian fans didn't shy away either from commending his efforts:
More than enough. This Indian side is not capable of chasing 200.— Mrityunjay (@BhartiyeBeta) January 15, 2019
Congrats Shaun ðð— Anuva Samantsinghar (@AnuvaAnushka) January 15, 2019
Brilliant to see this guy , back in form— Abhishek (@AbhishekAFCx) January 15, 2019
Wao! Good contribution.— Jahangeermalik (@Jhangeermalik78) January 15, 2019
Virat kohli and his team selection for India - pic.twitter.com/AOfjKPEm7l— El chapo (@rohitraut59) January 15, 2019