Rod Marsh bemoans ‘deplorable’ batting

Australia’s chairman of selectors Rod Marsh remains baffled by the “deplorable” batting that ceded the Ashes.

Pundits have pointed the finger at families on tour, Marsh, captain Michael Clarke, coach Darren Lehmann, high performance chief Pat Howard and a myriad of other parties for the lack of success in England.

The fact is shocking collapses led to the side’s downfall at Cardiff, Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.

The tourists were bowled out for 136 and 60 in their most recent first innings, making it near-impossible to fight back in the third and fourth Tests.

Marsh accepted he and fellow selector Lehmann would be held accountable.

“But I’m just racking my brain to try and think of who else we could have picked,” he added.

“If I had my time again, to sit down and choose the batsmen to come to England it would have been exactly the same.

“How the hell do you see that? How do you see some of the best batsmen in the world make no runs in the first innings of four Test matches, basically?

“It just staggered me.

“Our first-innings batting, it’s been deplorable … guys have let themselves down.”

It’s likely to result in a clean out of the batting order, with David Warner and Steve Smith seemingly the only men assured of selection if Chris Rogers retires.

Marsh would be “devastated” if the position of batting coach Michael Di Venuto, the man Smith credited for turning his form around in recent years, came under scrutiny.

“The game of cricket is about being accountable yourself,” he said.

“I think our blokes have got to be more selfish (with the bat).

“You’re allowed to bat all day.”

Australia failed to reach lunch on day one in Nottingham, while they were skittled before tea on the opening day in Birmingham.

“Our longest partnership in that game (at Edgbaston) was something like 18 overs. That’s appalling in a Test match, I don’t care what you’re playing on,” Marsh said.

“You should be better than that and I’m sure all the batsmen are feeling exactly the same.

“We were walloped and it hurts like hell. It hurts me like hell.”

Marsh has also been criticised for two tight selection calls at Trent Bridge – leaving Peter Siddle out of the bowling attack and replacing allrounder Mitch Marsh with brother Shaun.

The legendary Test wicketkeeper admitted he and Lehmann were deeply uncertain about the XI for the decisive fourth Test.

“It was the toughest selection I’ve ever been involved in,” he said.

“There was no way known I was going to make up my mind until I saw the pitch on the final morning.

“There were three or four options, every one of which could have been fantastic and every one of which could have been poor.”

Marsh noted the XI wouldn’t have mattered given the way Stuart Broad sliced through the top order, taking 8-15 in bowler-friendly conditions.

“My god, it was like a sea fret . . . it was moist out there,” he said.

AUSTRALIA’S ASHES COLLAPSES

*1st Test, Cardiff: 5-25, 6-50

*3rd Test, Edgbaston: 5-60, 4-30

*4th Test, Trent Bridge: 7-29, 4-23

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