New Delhi: The gritty innings of 110 by Shaun Marsh in the second ODI against England on Friday not only resurrected the Australian innings but also gave a befitting reply to selectors, who overlooked the talented 27-year-old batsman for the Aussie World Cup squad.
He came to the wicket when the side was 44/4 after the top order, including skipper Michael Clarke, failed yet again. And within no time, he got out of the blocks, first with well stolen singles, and later on with a flurry of boundaries.
His record 88-run partnership for the ninth wicket with pacer Doug Bollinger was a real treat, with both batsmen hitting runs all around the ground at will. This magnificent innings under pressure also posed a few pertinent questions for the Australian selectors to ponder over.
He came to the wicket when the side was 44/4 after the top order, including skipper Michael Clarke, failed yet again.
Why does a player, who plays up the order for his state side Western Australia and for the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, has been made to come that low in the batting order? Why does someone who seems to be naturally gifted to play spin well was not considered for the biggest extravaganza of the game?
As far as present form with the willow is concerned, his purple patch in the ongoing KFC Big Bash should have easily booked him a ticket for the trip to sub-continent. His omission and David Hussey's inclusion in the squad of 15 should also raise some eyebrows.
Hussey, who plays for Victoria in the domestic cricket, has managed only 598 runs so far in 24 outings with an average of 28.5. On the other hand, Marsh has fared well in the 29 times he donned the green and gold. The Perth-based batsman has scored just over a thousand runs, with an average of a shade over 37.
Though no one doubts junior Hussey's ability to score runs, his performance so far doesn't justify the talent the 33-year-old possesses. In that scenario, Marsh can contribute more to the side than the Victorian Hussey.
But all is not lost for Marsh as Michael Hussey, who was in the form of his life in the recently concluded Ashes, may miss the quadrennial event due to a groin injury. So he, together with junior Hussey, could be accommodated in the 15-man list.