You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Shaun Marsh fighting for Aussie Test spot

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Adrian Warren

Batsman Shaun Marsh is in career-best form, according to his WA cricket coach Justin Langer, but injury and selection issues means he's no certainty to retain his Test spot.

Marsh scored 130 in his last Test in Sri Lanka back in mid-August, but missed the subsequent one-day series in South Africa with a fractured finger.

His injury run continued earlier this month when he suffered a low-grade hamstring tear in a domestic one-day game in which he scored 70.

Marsh is battling to be fit for a Sheffield Shield game against South Australia next week, which will provide his only playing opportunity before the team is announced on Friday week for the first Test against South Africa.

"I'm sure the medical staff is doing everything possible to get him up for the next Shield game, so he can put his name up for the Test match,'" Langer said.

"He's just having such bad luck with these injuries. We saw just before he did it here, he was playing beautifully.

"He's in career-best form. That's the real downside from his point of view - he's in great form.

"I just hope his body can hold up so he's right to play the Shield match then the Test matches."

When he was recalled to the Test side in Sri Lanka, Marsh was pressed into service as an opener in place of Joe Burns, who held down a spot throughout the last Australian summer.

Marsh has never opened in nine Tests in Australia, and the only other times he has appeared at the top of the order - in 18 matches in the five-day format - was in two Tests last year against the West Indies.

While his form justifies his retention, it remains to be seen if selectors adopt a horses for courses approach and opt for Burns to open in Australia, in which case Marsh might still get a gig in the middle order.

If Marsh isn't fit for the first Test in Perth, Langer hopes selectors will keep him in mind for the second match in Hobart, although it starts just five days after the scheduled final day of the series opener.

"He's got a hundred in his last Test innings - you don't see many guys get dropped after getting a hundred in a Test match," Langer said.

Marsh, however, has already suffered that fate once.

He scored 182 against the West Indies last year in Hobart, but lost his place for the following Test, when Usman Khawaja returned from injury.

Marsh's younger brother and fellow Test incumbent Mitchell will be looking to shore up his allrounder's spot with a good Shield effort against SA.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon