Magellan Ashes 2017-18
Marsh's ninth life continues to bear fruit
Left-hander moves ahead of Aussie greats with sixth Test ton as dream Ashes campaign continues
AAP & Cricket Network
7 January 2018, 10:51 AM AEST
Shaun Marsh could have been forgiven for thinking his Test career was over two months ago, but a second century of the summer has continued a dream Ashes campaign and affirmed his spot in the Australian side.
Marsh worked his way to his sixth Test ton at the SCG on Sunday, his fourth 50-plus score of the series and his second ton to go with a hundred in Adelaide last month.
A much-maligned figure, a sixth Test century in Marsh's 28th Test puts him ahead of Michael Clarke (five centuries), Ricky Ponting (four) and Steve Waugh (two) at the same stage of their careers.
Coming to the wicket at the loss of Steve Smith (83) and Australia still trailing England's 346 by 72 runs, Marsh was circumspect at first before flirting with the idea of a Waugh-esque century as stumps neared on day three.
He began the final over on 97 but pushed a single off the first ball from James Anderson and his brother Mitchell (63no) retained the strike for the rest of the over.
Others might have been tempted to go for three figures before the close, but Marsh showed his growing maturity by opting to play it safe.
Dumped from Cricket Australia's contract list last year, this summer could easily have been a story of what might have been for Marsh.
When selectors looked to the future for the Test squad to tour Bangladesh last August, he was nowhere to be seen and his papers appeared marked.
But he earned a reprieve when he became one of several susprise Ashes selections, with even Smith said to be surprised by his inclusion.
But in his ninth Test life, Marsh has proved the doubters wrong with more than 400 runs for the series.
"He has been exceptional this series," Smith told Channel Nine on Saturday.
"He is comfortable in his game. Before he got picked Justin Langer said he is batting as well as he has seen him bat and he has seen him since he is 10 years old."
The 34-year-old drove square of the wicket superbly and worked the England bowlers away on the leg-side whenever they strayed onto his pads.
He also completed what was surely a boyhood dream, as he combined in a maiden century stand with brother Mitchell.
"Both Marshes have copped a lot of flak over the past couple of years, Shaun probably even longer," centurion Usman Khawaja said.
"To see them go out there and play really well and the way both of them can play is really rewarding to see.
"It couldn't happen to better blokes, they're both great blokes."
2017-18 International Fixtures
Magellan Ashes Series
Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird.
England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.
First Test Australia won by 10 wickets. Scorecard
Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Day-Night). Scorecard
Third Test Australia won by an innings and 41 runs. Scorecard
Fourth Test Match drawn. Tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Scorecard
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets
Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Tickets
Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 14
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21