Shaun Marsh’s push for a Test recall received another boost on Wednesday after the veteran left-hander continued his red-hot start to the domestic season.
Marsh’s 69 from 71 balls in Western Australia’s thrilling win over Queensland in Sydney was the latest effort in a stunning start to the summer following scores of 132no, 88 and 62 for the Warriors in the JLT One-Day Cup.
Couple those 50-over knocks with 78 and 125no for Yorkshire in first-class cricket last month and Marsh is perhaps the hottest batsman in the country right now.
While he was overlooked for the two-Test tour of Bangladesh in August, Australia’s selectors must have the 34-year-old in their minds with the first Magellan Ashes Test at the Gabba only six weeks away.
Standing at the other end with the best seat house watching Marsh dismantle state bowling attacks has been Michael Klinger, the evergreen opener who compiled a brilliant 128 of his own at Drummoyne Oval.
The No.6 spot in Australia’s Test lineup is one of two positions – along with the wicketkeeper – that is seemingly wide open and Klinger says Marsh or one of his state teammates could be in line to fill the role.
"We’ve probably got three guys in our team vying for that (spot) with (Marsh), Hilton Cartwright and possibly Marcus Stoinis," Klinger said.
"As long as one of those guys get it the WA boys will be happy.
"It depends if (selectors) want someone who can bowl a bit.
"But if something does happen to the other five batters in terms of injury then no doubt Shaun would certainly slot in. You’d hope he’d be next in the way he’s going."
Marsh’s axing for the Bangladesh Test tour was put down to his age and his performance in March’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in India.
In four Tests against the Indians, Marsh averaged 19 but was pivotal in the drawn third Test in Ranchi.
While his name might have had a line put through it after India, his record on home soil in recent years – 311 runs in three Tests and one century since 2015-16 – and his unbelievable form could warrant a Test recall in the must-win Ashes series.
"People forget in his second-last Test he basically saved the match for Australia along with Petey Handscomb, who’s in great touch too," Klinger said.
"After that he had one game that didn’t go right and he was out.
"He couldn’t be too far away and we all hope that he plays more cricket for Australia going forward."
2017-18 International Fixtures:
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21