Hughes feels badly for Marsh

Test cricket

Former Australia fast bowler Merv Hughes feels that outgoing chairman of selectors Rod Marsh was still the best man for the job despite a string of poor performances.

Hughes opined that the blame for the string of losses suffered by Australia does not sit with the selectors and highlighted that the team is in a rebuilding phase.

Hughes told SEN breakfast: “I would have thought that Rod Marsh was still the right bloke to be chairman.

“I’d certainly hope that Rod Marsh hasn’t bowed to media pressure, and I don’t think he’s that sort of person. But obviously he’s feeling the pressure.

“I don’t think the selectors are the problem. You don’t pick players to perform badly and at the moment, they’re not performing that well.”

Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, Chris Rogers and Ryan Harris have all retired in the last 18 months leaving the selectors the unenviable task of filling key positions with green players.

Hughes asserted that Test cricket is an incredibly hard game and even the most talented individuals often struggle to come to grips with the game’s ultimate format.

He added: “A lot of people overlook the fact that we’ve lost 365 Tests, we’ve lost 20,000 Test runs and 500 Test wickets.

“We’ve had six blokes retire in the past 18 months.

“Everyone seems to forget about that and they’re putting pressure on these guys.

“Test cricket is a hard game, there’s not too many people who come in and grab it by the scruff of the neck when they start. They take time.

“Steve Smith is a prime example. It probably took him about five years to cement his spot and become a regular in the Test team.

“But we’re expecting blokes to come in early in their careers and dominate Test cricket, we’re asking a bit much.

“Maybe we’re not as strong as we thought we were.

“And we should give a little bit of credit to South Africa and Sri Lanka, maybe they were a little bit better than we gave them credit for.”