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Failure puts more pressure on Mitch Marsh

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 By Justin Chadwick and Rob Forsaith

Mitch Marsh's spot in the Test squad is hanging by a thread following his latest failure with the bat.

Marsh entered the first Test against South Africa at the WACA Ground on Friday under intense pressure to perform following a worrying lean trot with the bat.

Chairman of selectors Rod Marsh declared the 25-year-old needed a big score - preferably in the form of a maiden Test century - in order to keep the wolves at bay.

Instead, Marsh was dismissed for an eight-ball duck in Australia's first innings on Friday after being trapped plumb in front by South Africa paceman Vernon Philander.

"The staggering part of that dismissal is how much he missed the ball by," Nine Network commentator Ian Chappell said.

Marsh averages just 23.07 from 30 Test innings.

He has only two half-centuries to his name, and he faces a massive fight to keep his Test spot.

"You have to back yourself as a player ... he's here at this level for a reason," Warner said of Marsh.

"I go back to a (one-day) game at Wellington where he came out and won us the game against New Zealand, he played his strokes and played beautifully. That's the Mitch Marsh we know as well."

Marsh is expected to be retained for the second Test against South Africa in Hobart, starting on November 12.

But if his run drought continues in that Test, then Moises Henriques lies in wait to take his spot for the day-night Test in Adelaide later in November.

Marsh's raw talent excites national selectors, but his lack of runs has caused their patience to wear thin.

"Mitch is still is a guy that promises a heck of a lot. Let's hope he comes good," Rod Marsh said before the first Test in Perth.

"He's still a young man. He's still finding his way in Test cricket. He's played enough now to be ready to fire, I hope."

Marsh returned figures of 0-23 from six overs in South Africa's first-innings total of 242.

He pulled off a spectacular catch at gully in the first over of the match, but the currency he desperately needs now is runs.

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