Sri Lanka in Australia 2012-13

Recalled Marsh emerges from 'dark space'

Daniel Brettig

January 21, 2013

Comments: 42 | Text size: A | A

Shaun Marsh goes over the top during his 85, Perth Scorchers v Melbourne Renegades, BBL, Perth, December 29, 2012
"I was in a pretty dark space there for a few months. It certainly challenges you, but it's made me a stronger person within and it's made me a better person." © Getty Images
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Shaun Marsh has emerged from the "dark space" he inhabited during a nightmarish 2012 to be recalled to the Australian Twenty20 team following his storming Big Bash League.

Starting last year as the No. 3 batsman in the Test side, Marsh was dropped following a dire series against India. His stocks receded further when a poor start to this season with Western Australia was compounded by disciplinary trouble at the Champions League that had him dropped from the Perth Scorchers too.

But the steadying hand of the new WA and Scorchers coach Justin Langer played a part in Marsh regathering his confidence and discipline, and he will now turn out for the national team in Sydney and Melbourne against Sri Lanka after leading the run scorers in the BBL while showing the sort of clean, powerful stroke play that had first won him an international berth.

"It's been a pretty big turnaround," Marsh said in Perth. "A few months ago I wasn't even picked for WA and I was doubting myself and stuff like that. It's just great to play well for the Scorchers, get my name back up there, get the confidence back and I'm really looking forward to playing again and hopefully doing well.

"I was in a pretty dark space there for a few months. It certainly challenges you, but it's made me a stronger person within and it's made me a better person. I've worked really hard with Justin and [fitness trainer] Steve Smith, went away and did some boxing with a mate of mine, trained really hard and made sure I was doing the extra sessions.

"I knew things were going to turn around for me if I kept doing that, and it did. It was nice to contribute to the team again and help the boys win games of cricket."

At 29, Marsh remains a long way from a Test match recall, something he was happy to accept. "It's always a dream to play Test cricket and I've had a taste of it, so one day hopefully," he said. "But I've got to play well for WA, in Shield cricket I think I'm averaging about 10 this year so I want to get back to playing with the boys, get a few big hundreds and push my case. I think that's a long way off at the moment."

John Inverarity, the national selector, indicated that his panel was hopeful that Marsh would use his BBL resurgence as a "stepping stone".

"With Shaun we'll just take one step at a time," Inverarity said. "His form in the BBL has been absolutely compelling. He's batted brilliantly and we all know how well he can play when he's in a good space and he seems to be in a very good space at the moment.

"We've kept a pretty close eye on Shaun and he's in a very good place at the moment. His batting has just been wonderful. We hope this is a stepping stone for other forms."

Adam Voges, Ben Laughlin and James Faulkner were among others rewarded for their domestic efforts with a place in the squad to face Sri Lanka. There was no room for Shane Watson, who may now return from his calf strain via the Sheffield Shield with New South Wales, while Luke Pomersbach was also overlooked despite a BBL contribution every bit as compelling as that of Marsh.

The bowling attack will be led by Mitchell Starc and Ben Cutting, with Laughlin's variations finding a way back into favour after his strong showings for the Hobart Hurricanes. David Hussey, meanwhile, lost his place in the T20 team following only brief appearances for the side in last year's World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Inverarity said Pomersbach and Ben Rohrer, both outstanding performers in the BBL for the Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Renegades respectively, had been very close to winning places in the team. "Ben Rohrer played brilliantly with the Melbourne Renegades and was in strong contention for inclusion, as was Luke Pomersbach," he said. "The NSP is pleased to see Luke playing so well and hope his good form continues."

As for Hussey, Inverarity stated that he had been left out for a younger player in Glenn Maxwell, as was the case for much of the World T20. "It was a toss-up in September at the World T20 and Glenn was preferred to David in all games but the semi-final at the end," Inverarity said. "When it's very close we always go for the younger player."

Australia Twenty20 squad: George Bailey (capt), Ben Cutting, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Ben Laughlin, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, David Warner

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by katandthat3 on (January 22, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

Great to see Shaun Marsh back in Aussie colours. He needed to pull his head in and hope he can continue to build on this. As he said himself, has some runs to score in FC cricket after this. Glad to see Finch & Laughlin in there too. Generally a good team, still think they could have gone with Pomers or Burns in for Maxwell (Maxwell is still pretty raw and doesn't bowl anyway - suggestions he goes as 2nd spinner to India are ridiculous). Bailey can keep going in ODI but he's not in the top 10 T20 bats in Australia, Rohrer would be my pick for him. If they decided to rest Wade for the first ODI's why pick him in T20? Paine should have maybe come in for him to bring him back into the set up that way. So 9 out of 12 is pretty good! Hopefully Mitch Marsh and Andrew MacDonald can recover from injuries soon, they would be handy at the moment in any format. There isn't much difference between T20 and ODI so if guys do well in T20 they should also be considered for ODI. Tests is another matter

Posted by Meety on (January 21, 2013, 23:42 GMT)

@jeauxx on (January 21 2013, 13:53 PM GMT) - I agree the "Inverarity" excuse is lame. Marsh has done well, although I would of preferred Pomersbach. As other have said, I certainly hope it doesn't mean a return to the ODI & Test teams anytime soon!

Posted by   on (January 21, 2013, 20:14 GMT)

part 2.....And what's this reasoning for dropping hussey i'm hearing; "As for Hussey, Inverarity stated that he had been left out for a younger player in Glenn Maxwell, as was the case for much of the World T20. "It was a toss-up in September at the World T20 and Glenn was preferred to David in all games but the semi-final at the end," Inverarity said. "When it's very close we always go for the younger player."What foolishness is that. Hussey axing during the t20 world-cup was a simple selection blunder, both him & maxwell should have been playing if inverarity see's that as just a toss-up between youth and older player - this is extremely troubling. Once more the plans, preparations & squad selection for another world t20 tournament is off to a bad start.

A proper AUS T20 team once all are fit would be: Watson, Warner, Bailey, Hodge, Hussey, Wade, Maxwell, Henriques, Hogg, Harris, Nannes. back-ups: Marsh/Finch, M Marsh, Johnson, Starc.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2013, 20:10 GMT)

part 1...On the squad, well i have been resigned to the fact that australia normally pick crap t20s teams & some of the selectors in this squad continues this trend. Laughin took wickets yea, but i can't say i was impressed. Still looks like the same joke quick that was picked to tour s africa in 2009. Why did the selectors feel the need to pick him is my question. Nannes is forever around, johnson, hell even hastings & christian as seam-bowling all-rounders that would give the team more depth, which is a very useful facet in t20s.

Where is Henriques, team lacking proper all-rounder replacement in watson's absence. Why was Brad Hogg dropped? Wasn't george bailey saying after the t20 world-cup that the team needs a mystery spinner? ( is the closest thing australia have to the ajmal, narine, ashwin, mendis type bowled & yet they pick the dud spinner that pollard killed in the t20 world semi final. its madness

Posted by ygkd on (January 21, 2013, 20:09 GMT)

Recent history tells us that dark spaces have been something of a favourite of some young Warriors - the dark spaces of unevenly-lit nightclubs. Wasn't sure before just how much cricket you could learn in good places like that but apparently its quite a lot.

Posted by Winsome on (January 21, 2013, 18:03 GMT)

Neither Pomers or Marsh should have been considered for Aus representation till next year at the earliest after they have proved that they can behave like adults and properly prioritise their sports careers.

Posted by bumsonseats on (January 21, 2013, 14:11 GMT)

marsh has played quite well in the big bash.but hes been talked about T20 form. england at the end of any given season bar the last 12 years or so. at the end of an english season when the 50 overs odi final were been played a guy would produce a good innings and his name would go down as a nomination to go on that winters tour. marsh who over the years i have seen a bit of his batting always looked the part but as then i was told his averages below 40 was not good enough. well we have guys who average is mid 30s whos name are been mentioned.

Posted by jeauxx on (January 21, 2013, 13:53 GMT)

@maf17 - No other possible reason? Have a bit more imagination. How about scoring more runs in less matches? How about averaging more? Marsh averaged 59 with 5 half-centuries to Pomersbach's 44 with 2 half-centuries and a ton.

Posted by maf17 on (January 21, 2013, 13:27 GMT)

Its as clear as crystal that Pomersbach was left out because Inverarity, a West Australian, wanted to punish him for daring to be successful with another state after WA showed him the door, and for the heinous crime of getting the Heat into the final where they denied a WA team their first silverware in donkey's years. There's simply no other possible reason for Pomersbach to have missed out. Thats the sorry state into which Australia's team selection has descended.

Posted by hycIass on (January 21, 2013, 11:53 GMT)

@brendon_edward has stated it well, Marsh deserves his T20 call up as he has been fantastic in the Big Bash but as Marsh said it himself he is averaging 10 in shield this year and was dropped by WA earlier in the season for shield cricket so he is a long way away from test cricket, but lets take it one step at a time. Shield runs are invaluable.

Posted by Simoc on (January 21, 2013, 11:37 GMT)

So Warner and Marsh need to get most of the runs on a regular basis though Finch may come good. It's not a team that inspires any confidence at all. At least with Pomersbach in we know the guys would be having a good time regardless.

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 21, 2013, 11:23 GMT)

best batsman in first ipl by a proverbial mile , plays for my hometeam kings 11, one of cleanest striker of ball a joy to watch won so many matches on flat pitches on his own but he never played good against indian national team . and truth be told he is average or below in tests , even in aus last year he failed miserably against indian pop gun attack , he never played good against spinners in punjab even when batting in 80's , but he can hit medium pacers a mile, it wud be naivity on selectors part to pick him in tests in india where it turns big from day 2 onwards, my only worries are clarke , watson, starc , when on top of their game they cud single handedly win a game, also indian team is much better in home conditions , won 4 and drew 2 of last 6 matches in last 6 years india vs aus,both teams are in transition, hope best team wins and we see as little controversies as possible

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (January 21, 2013, 10:31 GMT)

I can see why they didn't pick Marsh AND Pomersbach in the same team. That would have been, like, Party Central, man. Bill and Ted's excellent cricket adventure.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 21, 2013, 10:23 GMT)

Marsh was always a good T20 player, his issues are in the longer format, i just hope the selectors don't make the same mistake by picking him for the ODIs or tests unless he has some solid shield runs under his belt as he has been averaging less then 10 in shield this season.

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 21, 2013, 7:55 GMT)

What a shame to see Doherty in the squad. I guess they just give him a free licence to fail and yet they keep on picking him regardless. The same goes for Nathan Lyon in the Tests they just simply don't care if he is playing well or not they just keep on picking him for the sake of it. Michael Beer should have made the cut.

Posted by class9ryan on (January 21, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

Its a very good time for Marsh 2 get into form.... With India series ahead and the worries of spinners of cowan, hughes well may help Marsh get a ticket 2 India and his IPL record also is fine

Posted by Meety on (January 21, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

@Jay32 on (January 21 2013, 05:55 AM GMT) - good call. Starc is a very good T20 option, but surely he should be kept for Tests first, ODIs second, THEN maybe a T20. IF, this was a W/Cup year I would hold a different view.

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (January 21, 2013, 7:02 GMT)

Ben Laughlin is an odd choice. Why not Alistair McDermott?

Posted by Junikamra on (January 21, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

aus selectors have announced odi squad for 1st two odi's nd then next 2 odi's.. squad for last odi is same or any changes are made.. is anyone can tell me???

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 21, 2013, 6:52 GMT)

Just noticed one more thing about Aussie selection. Starc gets selected when in niggle? If Starc can be rested from tests for safety, why not T20's? Watson was dropped on fitness grounds not to aggravate injuries but Starc continues to play T20's. The squad was picked basedo n BBL form and if it is so, then Pomers and Hauritz deserved to be in the squad ahead of Maxwell and Doherty.

Posted by hotcric01 on (January 21, 2013, 6:48 GMT)

Maxwell is Australian Yusuf pathan(but a better fielder) who can't either bat or ball properly.But he may be devastating in his day.But unfortunately that day comes only once per 10-15 games.

Posted by CJcricer on (January 21, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

Well Preparation for WC 2015...Giving chances on domestic performances will definitely encourage the youngsters to perform....

Posted by Jay32 on (January 21, 2013, 5:55 GMT)

Why pick Starc for this meaningless 20/20 circus when he is carrying an injured ankle?? He should have been rested so that he can get ready for the shield matches and the India series to follow after. I don't see any reason in having all the test players play 20/20 when their best is most wanted in the upcoming test series against India and in the Ashes.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (January 21, 2013, 5:47 GMT)

Its not fair, if Marsh got picked then why not Luke, is it because his last name isn't Marsh, both had fantastic campaigns and deserved selection, Luke more so because his team won the final. And how does Maxwell get in when the likes of Rohrer, Birt, Khawaja and Lynn are not able to make it as they all had more runs and a higher average then Maxwell(though i am aware Maxwell played fewer games then them)

Posted by anver777 on (January 21, 2013, 4:32 GMT)

First Micheal Hussey & now a cut for T20 specialist David Hussey.. can't understand the Aus selection policy ??? Inclusions of Ben Laughlin & Voges is good, but former skipper Cameron White's name is also missing in the squad !!!!

Posted by DylanBrah on (January 21, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

No Michael Beer?!?!!?! How about rewarding performance NSP!!?

Posted by landl47 on (January 21, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

Looks a strong squad. It should be a good series- insofar as any T20I series can be good, that is.

Posted by hycIass on (January 21, 2013, 3:29 GMT)

Maxwell? Really? Over Luke Pomersbach? Maxwell is not going to get an over, he'll be torn to shreds, and his batting is overrated. Why not Pomersbach, or Dan Christian? And don't get me wrong, I like Doherty but Nathan Hauritz is bowling much better than he is at the moment (so is Michael Beer for that matter, but he barely spins the ball and shouldn't count as a spinner, he's basically all about flight and illusion). Even Rohrer and Khawaja deserved their spots more then Maxwell. Picking only one player from the BBL winning team(i.e Brisbane) just makes no sense at all, especially when they're leaving out a recent centurion (Pomersbach), or did they miss that too? And I'd like to see a vice-captain named for once (ie David Warner) or prefer Warner captain over Bailey, he still has a long way to go to show me that he deserves captaincy.

Posted by fazald on (January 21, 2013, 3:24 GMT)

Xavier Doherty has been a total flop as a spinner though he has been able to cling onto his place in the Australian limited overs side for the past three years or so. But have the selectors ever thought of trying out another spinner like Steve O'Keefe,Beer or O'Brien under this so called rotation policy? With the series against India and the ashes series looming we don't have a quality spinner in the side. It would be better to play four fast bowlers and choose another batsman or allrounder instead considering the fact that atleast one fast bowler in this Australian side breaksdown with every match.

Posted by   on (January 21, 2013, 3:08 GMT)

Though their rotation policy is widely criticized but one best habit of Australian selectors is their communication with players(either directly or indirectly). Its important for players to know where they stand in the selection queue.

Posted by Meety on (January 21, 2013, 3:03 GMT)

I would prefer that Warner did not get selected for T20s anymore. So my side would be 1. Finch, 2. Marsh, 3. Pomersbach, 4. Voges, 5. Bailey (c), 6. Christian, 7. Paine, 8. Cutting, 9. Faulkner, 10. McDermott, 11. Doherty. 12th Maxwell. I would not select Watto or Warner unless it was a W/Cup year.

Posted by Dashgar on (January 21, 2013, 2:52 GMT)

Should be Pomerabach or a Hussey ahead of Voges. Sorry Adam but you're not a player for the future or a match winner. Not deserving of a place. Nathan Coulter-Nile unlucky to miss out to Laughlan.

Posted by lukecannon on (January 21, 2013, 2:24 GMT)

It doesn't matter who comes into whose squad. It's going to be called off because of "unfair playing conditions". Where are ICC and the media now?

Posted by AlexRoxon on (January 21, 2013, 2:19 GMT)

M.Hussey's omission from the ODIs and now D.Husseys (continued) omission from T20 is an absolute joke. D.Hussey was one of the few in that brittle Australian ODI batting line up who looked good at the crease and was looking to bat positively. He's one of the best T20 players going around. I don't know why we're having so many issues with our selection panel. Henriques for example, he's a good player, but wasn't picked in the team for his recent domestic form, and that's demonstrated in his dismissals to date. Selection panel have a bit to answer for.

Posted by MoreTestsNoT20 on (January 21, 2013, 2:12 GMT)

Where are Michael Beer or even Hoggy. Doherty's T20 record is not good compared to these two. T20 has proven to be a slow bowlers game and there is only one in the squad.

Posted by Liquefierrrr on (January 21, 2013, 1:40 GMT)

Harsh for Pomersbach and Roher, however I believe Pomersbach needs another good year to really lock himself in.

I presume that he must also further prove to the NSP and CA that his behaviours off the field are now properly corrected.

Roher's age plus lack of international experience appear to have worked against him, though he mustn't be far off - he was incredibly consistent.

Maxwell should feel lucky, he had a fairly middling Big Bash, however he has shown fits and bursts of why is so highly regarded in his limited international appearances in both ODI and t20I.

I am pleased for both Laughlin and Faulkner, in particular Faulkner, as I believe he will be an excellent player for Australia in all formats for many years if provided the necessary exposure and support.

Voges and Marsh thoroughly deserve their recall, and I hope that Marsh can use this opportunity to erase some of the memories of his horrifying run at Test Level. Apples and Oranges sure, but runs are runs.

Posted by fazald on (January 21, 2013, 1:35 GMT)

Hope the Australian selectors will stop playing the fool and select their best side atleast for the T20 matches against Sri Lanka. Unlike what they have been doing the whole season with the aussie test and ODI teams to the detriment of the cricket team and the wrath of the aussie cricket fans. The credibility of aussie cricket itself is now in jeopardy due to poor decisions made by John Inverarity despite the abundant talent available in the country.I hope Pomersbach, Burns, Coulter Nile, O'Brien and O'Keefe will come into consideration for future games against the West Indies.

Posted by jeauxx on (January 21, 2013, 1:34 GMT)

I think most of these decisions are fair. I probably would have gone with Rohrer over Voges, but that's just personal preference. The big disappointment for me is Michael Beer missing out. Doherty is no slouch, but Beer's economy was excellent, and managed to choke batsmen no matter what stage of the innings.

Posted by hoppa6 on (January 21, 2013, 1:25 GMT)

The Brisbane Heat win the tournament but only manage 1 player to make the team. Surely luke Pomersbach had to make it ahead of someone. It seems like this team was picked 2 months ago regardless of what happened during the whole Big Bash tournament.

Posted by wix99 on (January 21, 2013, 1:22 GMT)

Adam Voges is an interesting choice. It's almost two years since the last time he played for Australia. He is hardly young at 33, but he is a few years younger than David Hussey.

Posted by ClueGeek on (January 21, 2013, 1:21 GMT)

Good selection . Shaun Marsh will be an ideal inclusion for India tests and Ashes as well.. some great record against Indians as well.. no need to try untested players like Khawaja when options like Marsh are available. Marsh will also fill the leadership vacuum for Australian team - a possible captain after Clarke. Well done selectors.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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