Mitchell Marsh in 121-year Ashes first amid 'legendary' comeback

The allrounder hadn't played in four years, but was on hand to save Australia.

Mitchell Marsh celebrates his Ashes century and Marsh running around.
Mitchell Marsh (pictured left) scored his third century for Australia, and the fastest in England for an Aussie since 1902, in a crucial moment in the Ashes. (Getty Images/@beastieboy07)

Mitchell Marsh has shattered records on his way to rescuing Australia having become the fastest Aussie to hit a century in the Ashes since 1902 having made his return to the team after four years. Australia made the huge call to include Marsh in the team for Cameron Green ahead of the third cricket test at Headingley.

The Aussies were in strife early as a blinding Mark Wood spell left Marsh entering the crease at 4-85. Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne had been dismissed with the ball moving around for Stuart Broad and Wood.

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Travis Head and Marsh were left the opportunity to keep Australia in the game after lunch in overcast conditions and the Western Australian allrounder didn't disappoint.

Marsh came out like a man on a mission hitting his trademark pull shot with aplomb. Before long, Marsh had whacked a 102-ball century. The milestone came with 17 boundaries and four sixes as England had no answers for his explosive counter-attack.

The 31-year-old became the fastest Australian player to score a century on England soil since Victor Trumper did it in 95 balls back in 1902. Marsh was elated after his century, which saw him come in as a replacement for the allrounder Green.

"There are always times when you spend a lot of time away from the game where you think that you might not get back to Test level," Marsh said. "It's taken a lot of hard work.

"I chose to have ankle surgery and miss last summer to get on this tour, knowing that I was going to be Greeny's understudy. Really proud to be able to get back in this team.

Mitchell Marsh celebrates his century at Headingley.
Mitchell Marsh (pictured) hit the fastest century for an Aussie in England since 1902. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

"I feel a part of the squad even though I haven't played a lot of Test cricket over the last couple of years. I feel very much part of it. It's a credit to the leadership. That's why we've had a lot of guys come in and contribute at different times and certain guys play unbelievably well."

Aussie cricket fans go wild for Mitchell Marsh

Mitchell Marsh famously said, "Most of Australia hate me," when selected in 2019 after a lean run of form in the team. The tide turned after his candid interview with fans wanting the best for the larrikin.

And Marsh has all but silenced all his doubters after his latest innings, which could help Australia win an Ashes series for the first time in England since 2001.

The allrounder's century will immediately pile pressure on selectors to keep him in the team as Green is expected to overcome a minor hamstring strain before the next Test at Old Trafford. Marsh and Head's 155-run partnership would also have been of great frustration for the hosts, who had chances to remove Head on nine and Marsh on 12.

But as has been the problem for the hosts all series they were unable to hold onto the regulation chances with Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root the culprits this time.

Marsh was finally taken when he inside-edged a ball from Chris Woakes (3-73) onto his thigh pad that was caught at second slip, sparking a collapse of 6-23. Wood was the chief destroyer taking 4-4 in 14 balls to clean up the tail after earlier clean bowling Usman Khawaja.

with AAP

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