Ashton Turner was only two days old when Ricky Ponting scored his maiden century for Tasmania 20 years ago.
Born and bred in Fremantle, Turner grew up idolising Ponting and Mike Hussey so he could be excused for any nerves today when he makes his debut in the company of the two Australian greats.
Although Ashton Agar will return home from India today after the national selectors decided against promoting him for a remarkable Test debut, he will not be back in time to play the crucial one-dayer at the WACA Ground.
Fellow left-armer Michael Beer is still recovering from a shoulder injury suffered last month but may be fit to play for South Perth in club cricket this weekend.
Turner will bowl his off-breaks and bat at No.8 in the WA team that will qualify for the one-day final if it gains a bonus point in a victory over the Tigers.
And though he is excited to be the fifth and final WA member of the most recent Australian under-19 squad to play senior cricket for the Warriors, Turner is not overawed at the prospect of taking on the former Australian captain.
They were teammates in the Prime Minister's XI last month and Turner was a net bowler during the Test match in December that proved to be the last of Ponting's career.
"The last year has been a bit of a whirlwind so it was not something I expected to happen but I am looking forward to the challenge of bowling to him," Turner said.
"To be in the box seat to watch him play will be something pretty special."
Turner has a simple plan to combat Ponting who will be part of a powerful Tigers top order that includes national Twenty20 captain George Bailey.
"As an off-spinner, the key is variation but consistency about where I land the ball," Turner said.
WA will use six bowlers in the must-win match though Tim Armstrong and Hilton Cartwright will also bat in the top order.
Mitch Marsh will not bowl in his return to action after three months out with a torn hamstring.
"It has been a long 12 weeks and I can't wait to get out there, especially because we can play in the final if we play well," Marsh said.
Marsh is unlikely to play in the shield match on Thursday.
WA are also sweating on a foot injury that may prevent paceman Simon Mackin making his debut.
Mackin got through eight overs for Willetton on Saturday after being told by selectors that he had to bowl to be considered for the shield match.
Shaun Marsh will not play again this season but may be spared surgery to repair the latest in a long line of hamstring injuries.
His ruptured right hamstring tendon was being assessed by a surgeon in Melbourne last night but the WA batsman was hopeful that he would not require surgery.
"Disappointing to be out for the rest of the summer with my injury but hopefully back to full fitness in 6 weeks," Marsh tweeted.
Marsh's injury came as an adductor strain forced WA paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile to withdraw from the Australia A series against the England Lions.
Coulter-Nile's injury is not serious but he will not take part in the three one-dayers to be played in Hobart next week.
Shaun Marsh has suffered at least six hamstring injuries over the past 10 years but his brother said he remained positive despite the latest setback.
"He was pretty gutted but was positive about the fact that he will only be out for five or six weeks," Mitch Marsh said.
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