Justin Langer has praised Shaun Marsh (above) as a top quality batsman © Getty Images
Jan 26, 2014
Former Australian cricketer Justin Langer believes that Shaun Marsh has it in him to be one of the top six batsmen in Australian cricket and maintains that his selection for the tour to South Africa is justifiable.
Marsh was recently criticised by South Australian coach Darren Berry who said that Phil Hughes should have been chosen instead for the South Africa tour.
But Langer who was speaking to the Herald Sun feels that the criticism is uncalled for said,” You can’t begrudge Shaun Marsh. If there’s any criticism, it’s got to be of the selectors who’ve made that bold decision.”
“Shaun is a kid who 15 months ago hit rock bottom. He was playing second XI cricket for Western Australia [WA] and his career was looking shaky. But his best is magnificent. You couldn’t find too many critics out there who say him at his best isn’t in the top six batters in Australia. What he needs to do is just find the recipe so his best comes out more often and particularly in the longer-version game,” said Langer.
Though Marsh has done well in the One-Day International (ODI) series against England, still his Test record is a bit shaky with him having scored only 275 runs at an average of 34.4 throughout summer and also his poor run of form in the 2011-12 series against India [Marsh scored 17 runs in 6 innings] being another low point.
“This is the next big step for him and if he can get back to play Test cricket, it’s a huge credit to him to get to this point from where he was. He’s getting better and better as a person and I’m confident if he keeps doing that, his performances on the field will look after themselves. It’s almost impossible to tell you … [how much] better a place he’s in now – it’s 180 degrees from where he was 14 months ago. He’s in a great spot,” said Langer who believes that Marsh has become a much better player and person after going through some personal turmoils.
“He’s one of the best kids, he’s just made some dumb decisions in the past. We’ve talked about that for 12 months or longer now (and) he’s made some good choices. He’s very settled, getting married and making great choices off the field and that’s showing on the field,” added Langer.
Langer feels that Marsh is amongst a select band of players which include the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Michael Hussey, who have bloomed rather late on in their respective careers.
“There are a lot of guys he could aspire to who’ve been in similar situations. Some of the really good Test players didn’t come of age until they were 28-30 years old. There’s no reason he can’t do the same,” concluded Langer.