Queensland v WA, Sheffield Shield, Brisbane February 5, 2012

Marsh begins long road back

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shaun Marsh has reflected on a horrific Test summer as he begins his batting rehabilitation in the Sheffield Shield, admitting that by the time of the final match in Adelaide he was "almost a walking wicket".

Marsh is taking the field for Western Australia against Queensland at the Gabba this week, intent on regaining the form and confidence that drained so completely from his batting against India. He has acknowledged that the selectors' call to send him back to his state, far from the madding crowd, was the right one.

"I would love to be playing for Australia but it is going to be good for me to get out of the spotlight and train hard for WA," Marsh told Brisbane's Courier-Mail. "I am not going to go hiding in this period. You can go two ways. You can take the easy option and go hide behind a brick wall or you can go about your business and go and get some runs again.

"I am at the bottom of the barrel right now but other people have been in this position and come back and had nice careers for Australia. I know if I keep doing the right things it will change."

Having begun his Test career with so much poise in Sri Lanka and South Africa, Marsh battled to overcome a back complaint and was hurried back into the team for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, where he commenced a series that would reap a meagre 17 runs in six innings.

Things were never worse than the first morning in Adelaide, when he missed a straight ball from R Ashwin to be bowled. Of that moment, Marsh said: "By the time of that dismissal I was just so tentative in the middle. I was almost like a walking wicket."

So much had changed from the first innings of the Cape Town Test against South Africa in November, when Marsh held his own against Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander on a treacherous pitch in the company of his captain Michael Clarke.

"I was having the time of my life," Marsh said. "I was just starting to feel at home in Test cricket. It was fantastic. It was tough but I was loving every minute of facing two of the best bowlers in the world in [Morne] Morkel and [Dale] Steyn on a very difficult wicket."

However a blow to the groin unbalanced Marsh, and soon after he began to feel growing pain and immobility in his back, losing his wicket soon after. He made a lame duck in the second innings, and has been unable to relocate his Test match touch since.

"Two balls before lunch I got hit in the groin area," Marsh said. "I felt myself seizing up in the lunch break. Just after lunch I felt a pop in my back. It got worse and worse and I got out shortly afterwards ([or 44]."