Mitch Marsh in brutal family development after agonising near-miss in MCG Test

The Aussie fell just short of a Test century on day three of the Boxing Day Test, continuing an unwanted family tradition.

Pictured Mitch Marsh with his wife Greta left and with his father Geoff right
Mitch Marsh fell painfully short of a Boxing Day Test tonne, continuing the trend of Marsh's in falling just short at the MCG, with his brother Shaun falling on 99 some nine years ago, while his father Geoff made 86 in his final match at the MCG against India in 1991. Image: Getty/Mitch Marsh's Instagram

Mitch Marsh was left distraught after being dismissed for 96 after a sublime knock on day three of the Boxing Day Test, suffering the same MCG curse as his family before him. The West Australian was dismissed for the second time in the series in the 90s, after edging a Mir Hamza ball to slip.

The 32-year-old's entire family was present at the iconic cricket ground as he narrowly missed a well-deserved hundred. Having ridden his luck early after being dropped on just 20, Marsh was measured as he built a big score and was in dismay after being sent packing so close to a tonne.

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"I guess there is a lot of history at this ground with the Boxing Day Test and a bloody big honours board I was close to getting on, but it wasn’t meant to be," Marsh said.

The disappointment comes nine years after older brother Shaun was run out for 99 in the second innings of the Boxing Day Test match against India at the MCG. His father Geoff, also made 86 at the iconic Melbourne stadium in a match against India in 1991, with the unwanted record of none of the Marsh's ever managing to crack the tonne at the MCG for Australia continuing.

“Shaun has technically still got me, so I guess there is a little bit of history there for us. But hopefully, I get one more crack at it,” Marsh said.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 28: Mitch Marsh of Australia looks disappointed after missing his century during Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test - Day 3 match between Australia and Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 28, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Santanu Banik/Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Mitch Marsh was left distraught after he fell to the same fate as his family before him, unable to make a milestone century at the MCG, falling for 96. Image: Getty

Mitch Marsh rescues struggling Aussies

Despite the disappointment of falling short of a century, Marsh's knock was instrumental for Australia, coming in four wickets down with a lead of just 70 runs. At the end of day three Marsh's sublime innings helped Australia to a 241-run lead, with four wickets in hand heading into day four.

“There are a lot of voices inside your head at four for 16,” Marsh said. “But I think it just comes back to being true to myself (and) being really clear on my role within this team and knowing that how I play my best.

“I guess getting on the counterattack and being positive in that situation … it can almost put more pressure on you when there’s a couple of guys building a partnership. It was just about getting myself in and then playing the way I have for the last like six months.”

Marsh backs Australia to defend any total at MCG

The last team to score more than 300 in the fourth innings of an MCG Test was Pakistan in a losing cause back in 1990 and Marsh is confident Australia can defend any score, even the current 241-run lead if need be, saying anything extra from here is a bonus.

"I think if we were all out now we would feel very much in the game," Marsh said. "I don't necessarily want to put a number on it for our bowlers, but we know that they can certainly hold the bat. A couple of good partnerships with some tired bowlers now, hopefully, we can get up towards the 300 mark, but I guess anything from here we'll take."

- with AAP

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