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No talk of ball tampering in Australia camp – Marsh

Anderson and Root

Melbourne, December 29: Ball tampering was not a topic of discussion in the Australia dressing room on day four of the fourth Ashes Test, according to all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.

England have controlled the MCG Test having already lost the Ashes, Alastair Cook recording a double hundred and carrying his bat as England were bowled out for 491 in response to Australia's first-innings 327.

The hosts reached 103-2 in their second innings on day four before rain ended the day's play.

Controversy came as Channel Nine's commentary team suggested James Anderson may be asked to explain his actions amid footage of him appearing to dig his fingernail into the ball.

But England coach Trevor Bayliss said the umpires had told him there was nothing to worry about and an ICC spokesman reportedly confirmed no action will be taken.

Asked for his view on the incident, Marsh said: "There has been no chat in our changing room. It was about getting on with the job and as batsman knowing our game plans to bat against a reverse swinging ball.

"I saw a little bit of the footage but I don't pay attention when I am close to batting."

Australia trail by 61 runs going into day five as they seek to deny England a first win of the series.

"There was a big carrot for us to go 4-0 up in this match. England have played really well in this game and the job is now for us bat out for a draw," added Marsh.

"We are in a reasonable position. We have got a big day ahead and we have to bat pretty much all of the overs tomorrow. Hopefully we can come out with a draw."

Opener Cameron Bancroft again struggled as he was dismissed for 27 in England's second innings, following up a score of 26 in the first.

That marks his highest score since his second-innings 82 on debut in the first Test in Brisbane. Through four Tests, Bancroft's average is a lowly 29.83.

But Bancroft's Western Australia team-mate Marsh has faith in his ability to turn around his form.

"The good thing about Cameron is even though he's missed out on big scores, he's getting starts," said Marsh.

"Which means he has the ability to get through new-ball spells. He's been in great form, he's hitting the ball really well in the nets and a big score is not far away from him.

"He's one of the most mentally strong not just cricketers but people I've ever met.

"He's stayed the same. He's a different cat, he has his little things that he does. He's been great around the group and that won't change for him."

Source: OPTA

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Story first published: Friday, December 29, 2017, 15:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Dec 29, 2017
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