ADELAIDE • Shaun Marsh answered his critics with a fighting unbeaten century to put Australia firmly in charge of the second Ashes Test against England in Adelaide yesterday.
The experienced left-hander, in his eighth recall to the Australian team, put together his fifth century in his 25th Test, an unconquered 126 off 231 balls which lifted the home side to 442 for eight declared.
When rain brought an early finish to day two, the tourists were 29 for one and trailing the Australians by 413 runs with three days left.
Marsh and wicketkeeper Tim Paine were the major surprises in the Australian team. But the 34-year-old backed up his 51 in Brisbane to bring his series tally to 177 runs and strengthen Australia's middle order.
"There's a lot of relief there. I'm just really happy," he said.
"I haven't thought about all the incidental noise (criticism) and my selection for the team.
"I've just tried to come in and feel nice and relaxed. I've felt good about my game the last three or four months."
He was the bulwark of the Australian innings, hitting 15 fours and a towering six off Stuart Broad in his first Ashes Test century.
"We got a message just before tea that Smithy (skipper Steve Smith) wanted to up the ante a bit and gave us free range," he said of his late lusty hitting ahead of the declaration.
He had a nervous few moments after seeking a review when he was given out leg before wicket on 29 to James Anderson. But the decision was overturned when the review projected that the ball would have gone over the stumps.
"When I saw the ball pitch in line, I thought I might have been in a bit of trouble," he said.
2ND ASHES TEST
Day 3: Singtel TV Ch124 & StarHub Ch237, 11.30am