0,16,7,7,0,16,4,0,12,0: Why Australian Cricket Needs Rocks Not Marshmallows

If only we were fibbing about that Marsh sequence.

Australia's cricketing Marsh brothers were the toast of Australia last summer, as Mitch scored his first two Test centuries and elder brother Shaun notched two of his own to help Australian win The Ashes.

How quickly times have changed.

The Marshes have since been mired in a run of poor form. Overnight in the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai, the brothers both scored ducks -- the first Australian siblings to do so since the Waughs were in the wars against Pakistan in 2002.

And it wasn't just overnight -- at a time when Australia desperately needed the sort of stern resistance provided by Usman Khawaja -- that the sons of the former Test player Geoff Marsh have disappointed.

The number sequence in the headline of this story is the last 10 Marsh brothers innings -- five each.

It extends from the current Test against Pakistan in the UAE back to the ill-fated South African tour, when every conceivable thing went wrong except the team bus crashing. Actually, that sort of metaphorically happened anyway.

Interestingly, the brothers' cricketing lineage came into question recently, when an unfortunately worded Cricket Australia missive suggested that Mitch's promotion to co-vice captaincy may have had something to do with his dad.

Family issues aside, the bottom line is that Shaun Marsh has now not passed 50 in Test cricket in 10 completed innings since his century in Sydney in the last match of The Ashes.

Mitch made 96 in the first innings of the South Africa series, but since then he's gone nine innings without raising the bat.

At a time when the national team's two senior batsmen are still serving bans for applying substances found in hardware stores to key pieces of playing equipment, much more is needed.

Australian cricket needs rocks, not Marshmallows.