Australia v England, 3rd ODI, Sydney January 22, 2011

Overlooked Shaun Marsh takes his chance

30

Australia's selectors have had a difficult summer and they were made to look foolish again when Shaun Marsh hit 110 against England two days after being left out of the World Cup squad. He may yet make the trip because Michael Hussey, the man he has replaced for this series, remains a major doubt due to his hamstring injury.

Marsh made a strong case that he should have been there by right, but his hopes of making the 15-man World Cup party weren't helped with the selectors able to select Tim Paine as a reserve keeper-batsman. Given Australia's batting woes this season, it's difficult to think why Marsh isn't playing a part across all formats. Mickey Arthur, his coach at Western Australia, rates him as talented as any batsman he has coached, although a first-class average 37.97, lower than his ODI mark, doesn't do him any favours

But even though his route to the subcontinent next month rests on the fortunes of others he isn't dwelling on being overlooked. "I'm never one to worry about selections," he said after Australia's 46-run win in Hobart. "I was disappointed not to get picked, but I see these games as an opportunity to improve my game at international level. It's given me a lot of confidence. I'm sure the guys who go over will do a great job."

England were due to face Marsh when they played Australia A, also at Hobart, in November but he pulled out due to injury. Andrew Strauss said they would need to come up with some new ideas. "He had a nice mix of getting ones and hitting boundaries," he said. "He's a player in good form and we'll have to look at how we could have done things differently."

By trade Marsh is opener, like his father Geoff, but his immediate chances for Australia appear to be in the middle order and he showed his adaptability in Hobart when he came in at No. 6 with the score 4 for 33. He added 100 with Cameron White then an unexpected 88 with Doug Bollinger for the ninth wicket to give Australia a defendable total.

"It was just a great opportunity for me," he said. "Huss going down was very unfortunate but it gave me my chance. It didn't matter where I batted for Australia, I just wanted to play. It's obviously different to opening but I knew once I got myself in, and started feeling good, I could play some shots. It was a lot of fun out there especially with Dougie at the end. We got our team to a competitive total and defended it well."

Marsh had plenty of praise for his unlikely tail-end partner. Bollinger had only batted four times in his previous 27 ODIs with a top score of three, but unfurled two cover drives during his run-a-ball 30. "Dougie was loving it out there," Marsh said. "It was a lot of fun. I was trying to tell him to rotate the strike and keep the ball on the ground. He played some wonderful shots, it was fantastic the way he went about it. Without him we probably wouldn't have got to 200."

Although Marsh is unlikely to break the opening combination of Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, Michael Clarke made it fairly clear that he wants to make use of Marsh's impressive form by using him higher up the order. "Shaun will definitely be playing in the next three games," Clarke said. "It's unlikely he'll be batting at No.6 as well, especially when he's hitting the ball as sweet as he is. He's in wonderful nick at the moment. He's certainly going to get opportunities if he plays like that."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VivGilchrist on January 23, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Let's be sensible and win the world cup shall we? Watson Haddin Hodge Marsh White Ferguson Christian OKeefe Lee Bollinger Nannes. Thankyou and Goodnight.

  • on January 23, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    jobke i am with you on your team. With hauritz unfit i bring in o'keefe, if tait is out i bring in nannes before siddle. I agree hodge, christian and marsh should be in this world cup team. To think the selectors are going to go with siddle if tait is injured is a joke, siddle just got smashed with no wickets in recent 20/20 and has showed me nothing in the shorter form of the game.

  • on January 23, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    best odi team 1. watson 2. marsh 3. haddin (wk) 4. clarke (c) 5. white 6. ferguson 7. smith 8. o'keefe 9. siddle 10. pattinson 11. bollinger

  • Number1CricketFan on January 23, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    why the heck is this guy not in the world cup squad, he is pure class.

  • kellhound on January 22, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    I understand why people are saying to drop Clarke, but I've seen that a change of captain during a series always hurts the side that makes it, even if forced by injury. As for why Haddin is opening (reply to jobke), he tends to bat in the 'over the top' style and they choose to take advantage of the power plays. Marsh is a brilliantly, technically correct batsmen who tends to go more along the ground, at least in the first half of his innings. My suggestion would be, with the current team, to bat Marsh at 4 and move Clarke to 5 or 6 depending on the circumstances - if acceleration is needed, White comes in before him; if consolidation is needed, use Clarke as this can also give hime time in the middle to recover form. Clarke in the first match, while a bit scratchy, was far better and I believe was on the road to recovery (not a one-game process btw), and he wasn't the only batsmen to fail on Friday - Marsh played an exceptional innings that game on a fairly difficult track.

  • on January 22, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    We heard a lot about professionalism in australian cricket i.e. player rotation, only players who can perform included in the side but from past one year, it is not happening bcz ponting and clarke are still playing...........i m sure ponting carrer will end just like Indian Legend Saurav ganguly..

  • on January 22, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    ................I think selectors should look on positive side of side Shaun Marsh,......instead of judging him with his first class average, they should also take care of the fact that world cup is in the subcontinent and he performed well in Indian Premier League,.........he can be the choice for australia.

  • on January 22, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    Hopefully the selectors wont do what they did to Brad Hodge to Shaun Marsh, we can't afford that

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 22, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    Shaun Marsh doing well just highlights that we have the wrong World Cup squad. If nothing else, we have no specialist openers. It should have been a question of Shaun Marsh or David Warner, with a theory for possibly both, but certainly not neither. But if you think that that is bad, then what about the decision to exclude both Brad Hodge and Dan Christian, the two best players in Australia in ODIs? How absurd is that? The one hope for us is injuries. Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are both carrying injuries and with any luck they'll realise that Australia is better off with Hodge and Christian and they can just claim to have succumbed to injury. Nathan Hauritz was probably a 50/50 choice between him and Doherty so his injury won't hurt Australia at all. And, while Michael Hussey is one of our stars, at least now we get a proper opener. Can Marsh open the batting though, please? It pains me to see Brad Haddin opening.

  • on January 22, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    Two wicket keepers for a WC? They have lost it.

  • VivGilchrist on January 23, 2011, 6:57 GMT

    Let's be sensible and win the world cup shall we? Watson Haddin Hodge Marsh White Ferguson Christian OKeefe Lee Bollinger Nannes. Thankyou and Goodnight.

  • on January 23, 2011, 4:39 GMT

    jobke i am with you on your team. With hauritz unfit i bring in o'keefe, if tait is out i bring in nannes before siddle. I agree hodge, christian and marsh should be in this world cup team. To think the selectors are going to go with siddle if tait is injured is a joke, siddle just got smashed with no wickets in recent 20/20 and has showed me nothing in the shorter form of the game.

  • on January 23, 2011, 2:33 GMT

    best odi team 1. watson 2. marsh 3. haddin (wk) 4. clarke (c) 5. white 6. ferguson 7. smith 8. o'keefe 9. siddle 10. pattinson 11. bollinger

  • Number1CricketFan on January 23, 2011, 2:00 GMT

    why the heck is this guy not in the world cup squad, he is pure class.

  • kellhound on January 22, 2011, 23:03 GMT

    I understand why people are saying to drop Clarke, but I've seen that a change of captain during a series always hurts the side that makes it, even if forced by injury. As for why Haddin is opening (reply to jobke), he tends to bat in the 'over the top' style and they choose to take advantage of the power plays. Marsh is a brilliantly, technically correct batsmen who tends to go more along the ground, at least in the first half of his innings. My suggestion would be, with the current team, to bat Marsh at 4 and move Clarke to 5 or 6 depending on the circumstances - if acceleration is needed, White comes in before him; if consolidation is needed, use Clarke as this can also give hime time in the middle to recover form. Clarke in the first match, while a bit scratchy, was far better and I believe was on the road to recovery (not a one-game process btw), and he wasn't the only batsmen to fail on Friday - Marsh played an exceptional innings that game on a fairly difficult track.

  • on January 22, 2011, 19:35 GMT

    We heard a lot about professionalism in australian cricket i.e. player rotation, only players who can perform included in the side but from past one year, it is not happening bcz ponting and clarke are still playing...........i m sure ponting carrer will end just like Indian Legend Saurav ganguly..

  • on January 22, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    ................I think selectors should look on positive side of side Shaun Marsh,......instead of judging him with his first class average, they should also take care of the fact that world cup is in the subcontinent and he performed well in Indian Premier League,.........he can be the choice for australia.

  • on January 22, 2011, 15:45 GMT

    Hopefully the selectors wont do what they did to Brad Hodge to Shaun Marsh, we can't afford that

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 22, 2011, 13:38 GMT

    Shaun Marsh doing well just highlights that we have the wrong World Cup squad. If nothing else, we have no specialist openers. It should have been a question of Shaun Marsh or David Warner, with a theory for possibly both, but certainly not neither. But if you think that that is bad, then what about the decision to exclude both Brad Hodge and Dan Christian, the two best players in Australia in ODIs? How absurd is that? The one hope for us is injuries. Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke are both carrying injuries and with any luck they'll realise that Australia is better off with Hodge and Christian and they can just claim to have succumbed to injury. Nathan Hauritz was probably a 50/50 choice between him and Doherty so his injury won't hurt Australia at all. And, while Michael Hussey is one of our stars, at least now we get a proper opener. Can Marsh open the batting though, please? It pains me to see Brad Haddin opening.

  • on January 22, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    Two wicket keepers for a WC? They have lost it.

  • radhegee on January 22, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Clarke should be dropped and White should be made skipper until Ponting's absence. Clarke is just a waste , i don't know if he deserves to be the captain of our aussie team . White is the natural leader and he should be given opportunity . Marsh must be world cup squad in place of Clarke . My team for the next will be - 1.Watson 2.Haddin 3.Marsh 4.David Hussey 5. White (capt) 6.John Hastings 7.Steven Smith 8.Brett Lee 9.Xavier Doherty 10.Bollinger 11.Tait

    My world cup suad - 1.Watson 2.Haddin 3.Ponting 4.Marsh 5.White 6.David Hussey 7 .Steven Smith 8.mitchell johnson 9.Brett lee 10.Bollinger 11.Tait

  • Aussieslover on January 22, 2011, 12:10 GMT

    My WC playing 15 would be 1.Watson 2.Marsh 3.Ponting 4.Paine 5.S.Smith 6.White 7.D.Hussey as the finisher like Y.Pathan for India 8.Doherty 9.B.Lee 10.Siddle 11.Bollinger 12.Clarke 13.Hauritz 14.M.Hussey 15.Tait

  • jobke on January 22, 2011, 11:28 GMT

    I agree with righthandbat there are some massive selection issues. Haven't seen much of Chris Swan but I agree with Dan Christian coming into the team. I still think Haddin should be in above Paine at this stage though, especially considering he played well this summer, but I don't understand why he has to open the batting Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson seems like a better opening pair because of their good technique.

    1 - Watson 2 - Marsh 3 - Ponting 4 - Hodge 5 - White 6 - Haddin 7 - Christian 8 - Johnson 9 - Hauritz 10 - Lee 11 - Bollinger

    M. Hussey in the team if he recovers but a Hamstring off the bone is pretty serious not sure he'll be 100%

  • StarveTheLizard on January 22, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    I would say that injuries are not really hurting Australia.The injuries we are copping - possibly due to poor coaching techniques - are forcing Oz to put a better a team on the field than the joke side the selectors chose. If so, then two wrongs will make a right. Its not a perfect solution. Clarke continues to play despite his bad back. Ponting is liable to get better. In which case Shaun Marsh will be dropped to make way for him.

  • rkannancrown on January 22, 2011, 8:25 GMT

    Marsh batted well in India during IPL. I have always wondered why he is not a regular in Australian side.

  • Winsome on January 22, 2011, 8:24 GMT

    After watching awful batting, technique-wise for Australia most of the summer, it was wonderful to watch a genuine batsman play so well. He's very good to watch, elegantl and clean hitting without trying to hit the cover off it - apart from the hit to get to his ton.

    Very fine innings. I hope that he can go on from this. His temperament has always been his weak point, not his talent or technique.

  • grg525 on January 22, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    I'm confused. Why does Clarke say Marsh will play in the next 3 games? Obviously he must be a selector. At least that would explain why Smith keeps getting a game.

    He can't come too much further up the list or he might oust our "best" batsman, who bats himself at 3 and is continually saved by other batsmen who are prepared to put the team first.

    Good for Marsh, bad for the team.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on January 22, 2011, 8:19 GMT

    If CA's selection pannel can drop Ponting & M Clerk the Aussies will be very strong.

  • righthandbat on January 22, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    Shaun Marsh looked good for two reasons. Good technique - and ability to accelerate once he'd made a start.

    In the long-term, I think Finch should come in and open with Watson. Marsh I think would be good long-term number 3. Paine could slot in at 4, with Clarke at 5 and White at 6. Clarke should be bowling a few more overs than he is currently.

    Christian could come in at 7 and Smith should drop to 8 and bowl his allotted 10 overs (or at least 6+ overs). He is not good enough to bat at 7 and needs to work on his technique, but he could become a very good number 8.

    Lee is good for a while longer at 9 and Bollinger at 10 if he can improve his fitness. Chris Swan deserves a game BIG time as he is not only a wicket-taker and experienced, but has a good economy rate. He has to come in at number 11 and be given a chance at international level.

    Johnson needs time back at state level and Tait is too injury-prone.

  • landl47 on January 22, 2011, 6:36 GMT

    So just to make it clear- since Hussey and Ponting are the only two Australian batsmen in the squad who are injured at the moment, which of them do you want Marsh to replace? @Samiul Aman: 'Make Steven Smith injured' is a crime under Australian law. In fact, even inciting someone else to do it is illegal. I don't know which country you live in, but this is just a kindly warning in case it happens to be Australia.

  • Aussasinator on January 22, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    This is a good Australian team shaping up under White. The bonding is finally good - the players were always good, although the media and excuse seekers kept harping on the retired greats incessantly, well after their retirement. Now I hope people see the huge Ponting damage all these years. It was foolish to seek excuses to protect a selfish captain when there's a talented bunch clearly belonging to a new generation bursting to perform, but reined in by a dominating captain, who first thinks of himself. But like all gentlemen, let me join the gang - Ponting is a great batsman and an even greater captain. Only he can lead the team back to those supreme heights ( the heights that he's dropped them from:)) !

  • Salim_123 on January 22, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    What a slap on the face for Hilditch and Co. They are being wrong wit their selection. Yet nto learned their lessons by persisting with Steve Smioth. Bring in Callum Gerguson, Daniel christian and Marsh. Drop Tair he will make you a match loserand will break down in the middle of the innings, which will end up part time bowlers completing his overs.

    By the way when is the selection of selectors including Chairman due????

  • KingofRedLions on January 22, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    The only person who he could have come in for in the WC squad was Dave Hussey.

  • PlayingItStraight on January 22, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    More egg on their faces for Hilditch and Co ... Marsh should have replaced Katich in the test series, and should have been a walk up start in the ODI team and WC squad too. But no, let's hold on to the non-performing so-called stars (Clarke etc) and then keep telling everyone we're doing a good job as selectors! While Tait and Hauritz both deserved to be in the WC squad, let's see who replaces them in this ODI series, and whether the replacements can also send a message to the selectors with some good performances.

  • on January 22, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Make Steven Smith injured.... Bring in Shaun Marsh... That way we can have both Hussey & Marsh with long strong batting line-up

  • popcorn on January 22, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    It is high time Phil Hughes was discarded from the Test side. He has zero technique, is undependable, and gets out early, resulting in demoralizing the Team. Shaun Marsh, on the other hand, like his father, Geoff Marsh, is a solid opener, has good defensive AND attacking technique. When Simon Katich retires, Shaun Marsh should take his place.Send Phil Hughes back to his banana farm. For the ODI World Cup, we want Mike Hussey, we want Shaun Marsh too! Hope the useless Steve Smith gets injured and is dropped from the Squad and replaced by Shaun Marsh.

  • Something_Witty on January 22, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    Our selectors are incompetent. Christian, Ferguson and Marsh are three obvious candidates who should have been in the 15 and were not. The selectors also seem to think that a wicketkeeper is just a flashy, irresponsible batsman with gloves on. Why is Matthew Wade sitting around doing nothing while Haddin fumbles and stumbles his way through a job he is clearly not cut out for?

  • on January 22, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    Yeah Clarkey, he should be batting at number 3 and you should be batting at number um, 12 maybe?

  • on January 22, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    Someone said 2011 world cup is 3 way race (IN,EN,SA) ... funny he forgot about Australia and SriLanka ....Australia is the top favorite and SriLanka is playing their backyard (Subcontinent) Pakisthan & Bangladesh both have chance to win

    AUS - 30% , IN - 20% , SL 20% , PAK 10% ,SA 10% ,Eng 5% ,Ban 5%

  • mariofan97 on January 22, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    Putting Shaun Marsh in was the selectors' best decision all summer!!!!!!!

    W00t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • mariofan97 on January 22, 2011, 1:53 GMT

    Putting Shaun Marsh in was the selectors' best decision all summer!!!!!!!

    W00t!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • on January 22, 2011, 1:56 GMT

    Someone said 2011 world cup is 3 way race (IN,EN,SA) ... funny he forgot about Australia and SriLanka ....Australia is the top favorite and SriLanka is playing their backyard (Subcontinent) Pakisthan & Bangladesh both have chance to win

    AUS - 30% , IN - 20% , SL 20% , PAK 10% ,SA 10% ,Eng 5% ,Ban 5%

  • on January 22, 2011, 2:28 GMT

    Yeah Clarkey, he should be batting at number 3 and you should be batting at number um, 12 maybe?

  • Something_Witty on January 22, 2011, 2:35 GMT

    Our selectors are incompetent. Christian, Ferguson and Marsh are three obvious candidates who should have been in the 15 and were not. The selectors also seem to think that a wicketkeeper is just a flashy, irresponsible batsman with gloves on. Why is Matthew Wade sitting around doing nothing while Haddin fumbles and stumbles his way through a job he is clearly not cut out for?

  • popcorn on January 22, 2011, 3:44 GMT

    It is high time Phil Hughes was discarded from the Test side. He has zero technique, is undependable, and gets out early, resulting in demoralizing the Team. Shaun Marsh, on the other hand, like his father, Geoff Marsh, is a solid opener, has good defensive AND attacking technique. When Simon Katich retires, Shaun Marsh should take his place.Send Phil Hughes back to his banana farm. For the ODI World Cup, we want Mike Hussey, we want Shaun Marsh too! Hope the useless Steve Smith gets injured and is dropped from the Squad and replaced by Shaun Marsh.

  • on January 22, 2011, 3:45 GMT

    Make Steven Smith injured.... Bring in Shaun Marsh... That way we can have both Hussey & Marsh with long strong batting line-up

  • PlayingItStraight on January 22, 2011, 4:07 GMT

    More egg on their faces for Hilditch and Co ... Marsh should have replaced Katich in the test series, and should have been a walk up start in the ODI team and WC squad too. But no, let's hold on to the non-performing so-called stars (Clarke etc) and then keep telling everyone we're doing a good job as selectors! While Tait and Hauritz both deserved to be in the WC squad, let's see who replaces them in this ODI series, and whether the replacements can also send a message to the selectors with some good performances.

  • KingofRedLions on January 22, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    The only person who he could have come in for in the WC squad was Dave Hussey.

  • Salim_123 on January 22, 2011, 5:34 GMT

    What a slap on the face for Hilditch and Co. They are being wrong wit their selection. Yet nto learned their lessons by persisting with Steve Smioth. Bring in Callum Gerguson, Daniel christian and Marsh. Drop Tair he will make you a match loserand will break down in the middle of the innings, which will end up part time bowlers completing his overs.

    By the way when is the selection of selectors including Chairman due????

  • Aussasinator on January 22, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    This is a good Australian team shaping up under White. The bonding is finally good - the players were always good, although the media and excuse seekers kept harping on the retired greats incessantly, well after their retirement. Now I hope people see the huge Ponting damage all these years. It was foolish to seek excuses to protect a selfish captain when there's a talented bunch clearly belonging to a new generation bursting to perform, but reined in by a dominating captain, who first thinks of himself. But like all gentlemen, let me join the gang - Ponting is a great batsman and an even greater captain. Only he can lead the team back to those supreme heights ( the heights that he's dropped them from:)) !