Shaun Edward Marsh
July 09, 1983, Narrogin, Western Australia
Left hand bat
Slow left arm orthodox
Top order batsman
As a child Shaun Marsh spent a lot of time in the Australian set-up travelling with his father Geoff, the former opening batsman. The international grounding and a backyard net helped develop Marsh into one of the finest, if not enigmatic, talents in Australian cricket. The elegant left-hander made his first-class debut for Western Australia as a 17-year-old and scored a century as a 19-year-old against New South Wales in 2003 in a game where then Test veterans Steve and Mark Waugh were playing. He eventually progressed to international ranks making a successful start to his ODI career in 2008 and scoring a superb century on Test debut in Sri Lanka in 2011.
Marsh looked set for a lengthy tenure as Australia's No.3 but a back injury suffered during Australia's disastrous Cape Town Test later that year proved a serious setback. Marsh rejoined the side for the home Tests against India but was a shadow of himself, and 17 runs from six innings was a calamitous return. He went into a tailspin that saw him dropped from WA's Sheffield Shield side before Justin Langer's arrival as WA coach resurrected his career. He was recalled for the 2014 Test tour of South Africa and scored 148 at Centurion, but was dropped again after making a pair in the next Test. Another recall came at home against India when Michael Clarke was injured, and 99 at the MCG suggested he still had something to offer.
But in his only Test on the 2015 Ashes tour he scored 0 and 2, and it seemed that might have been his last chance. Until he was given another, included to replace the injured Usman Khawaja for the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in 2015-16. Permanency has never arrived, however, through a mixture of form and injury. It felt as though the 2017-18 Ashes promised something better with two hundreds in the series, including one against the pink ball in Adelaide, but there was a subsequent slump in form that again that saw him dropped from the Test side after the 2018-19 home series loss to India.
Marsh remains one of the great enigmas of Australian cricket. Despite his incredible peaks and troughs in form Australian selection panels continually view him as a viable top-order prospect in Tests and ODIs especially. While his poor Test run in 2018-19 led to his eventual omission from the team, his ODI form was impressive, making four ODI centuries in 12 months to get himself into the 2019 World Cup squad. He was also handed a CA contract for 2019-20 aged 35 and only playing in the ODI team.
He has been an outstanding T20 franchise player despite not playing much T20 international cricket and was the leading run-scorer and named Player of the IPL in 2008 for Kings XI Punjab. He was the leading run-scorer in BBL 02, helping Perth Scorchers to the final, and made 63 and 73 in the finals of both BBL 03 and BBL 04 to help the Scorchers to back-to-back titles. In 2019 he left the Scorchers and signed a three-year deal with the Melbourne Renegades.
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