Baby a boon for Marsh's form

Warriors veteran has found 'career-best' form on back of recently becoming a father

Fatherhood worked wonders for David Warner. Now it's helping Shaun Marsh as the veteran seeks to extend his career-best form in a pivotal Magellan Ashes audition.

Warner and Marsh are among the stars taking part in arguably the most important JLT Sheffield Shield game of the season, with NSW facing Western Australia at Hurstville Oval.

There could potentially be as many as nine members of Australia's XI for the first Test running out in suburban Sydney on Saturday.

Marsh melts unbeaten ton for Warriors

Marsh and teammate Hilton Cartwright are among the leading candidates for the No.6 spot, while Marsh shapes as Warner's likely opening partner should Matthew Renshaw be dropped - as has been mooted.

WA coach Justin Langer suggested earlier this week Marsh is in career-best form, opining "when he's relaxed, there's no better player".

WA captain Mitch believes his older brother "could hardly have started the season off any better", noting that one-year-old nephew Austin has helped declutter the veteran's mind.


Austin loving his holiday up north 👍🏼Off to lunch in his Sunday best :)

A post shared by Shaun Marsh (@shaunmarsh9) on

"I'm not sure what it is about having a kid - I don't have one - but he's just got this great balance in life and he probably doesn't think about the game as much as he used to," Mitch Marsh told AAP.

"Cricket's the sort of game that when things aren't going well. You can definitely over-think it.

"He's in a great place now with a beautiful young family. (If he gets out cheaply), he goes home to his little champion of a son and plays with him. It's not all bad."

Shaun Marsh was the leading run-scorer during the domestic one-day competition then one of few batsmen to pass 50 during last week's day-night Shield round.

Marsh's stop-start career of 23 Tests was widely thought to be over, having been axed following this year's tour of India.

But the 34-year-old now has a golden chance to impress skipper Steve Smith, who will lead a NSW side boasting the Test attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.

"He's a good player and he seems to be in form," Smith said of Shaun Marsh.

"If he scores runs this week against our good attack, I'm sure that's certainly putting his name up there."

Mitch Marsh described selection speculation as "irrelevant" but couldn't wait for his team to test themselves against "one of the best bowling attacks in the world".

"What an amazing opportunity to send a message to the rest of Australia that we're a very good side," he said.

"Everybody deals with pressure differently but looking at our group, everyone seems to be dealing with it absolutely fine."

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

Gillette 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

Gillette T20 INTL 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