x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Shaun Marsh hopes help from dad will keep him in Australia side

The batsman has had net sessions with his father Geoff to help find his form ahead of West Indies tour.

Shaun Marsh had a difficult series against India, scoring only 17 runs, putting his place in the Australia Test team in doubt.
Shaun Marsh had a difficult series against India, scoring only 17 runs, putting his place in the Australia Test team in doubt.

Shaun Marsh is hoping a series of net sessions with his dad and former Australia coach Geoff can help him recapture his best form.

Marsh faces a major struggle to hold onto his Test spot in the Australia side for the upcoming tour of the West Indies after scoring just 17 runs from four matches against India this winter, while he was left out of the one-day international squad to allow him to go back to domestic cricket and rediscover top form.

That has given the 28 year old the chance to work with his father, a veteran of 50 Tests who was controversially sacked as coach of Sri Lanka in January, and Marsh said that has been beneficial.

After scoring 79 in his first innings back in Sheffield Shield cricket for Western Australia against Queensland earlier this month, Marsh said he was on his way back to his best.

"I'm working on a few things and I had a decent start up in Queensland and hopefully I can continue that now," he said.

"I've been having hits with dad most days this week and it's been good. He came up to Brisbane last week. He didn't have any hits with me but to have his support has been pretty good.

"It's good to have dad back home. I've worked with him for the last few years now and I guess one of the good things about him getting sacked from Sri Lanka is that it means I can work with him."

Although Marsh said his confidence was picking up, he is under no illusions about the difficulty of the challenge he faced in holding onto his spot at No 3 in the batting order under pressure from the likes of Usman Khawaja and the fit-again Shane Watson.

Australia coach Mickey Arthur recently said Marsh's path to the Caribbean would be through amassing significant runs in the Shield, and the left-hander said that was his focus.

"I've got a huge challenge in front of me. I've had a disappointing few months and I'm hungry to get out there and score some hundreds again," he said.

"Obviously I didn't start well and I was putting pressure on myself to try to contribute to the team. And the harder I was trying, the worse I was getting.

"I really wanted to do well and it backfired on me a little bit. I went away from my game plan.

"It was disappointing but it's nice to be back here now, out of the spotlight a bit."

Marsh will have another chance to push his claim for a place in the national team when Western Australia play New South Wales in the Shield, beginning tomorrow at the WACA Ground.