Opener Shaun Marsh shapes as the key to the Perth Scorchers' chances of taking another huge step towards qualification for the Big Bash League semifinals with victory over the Hobart Hurricanes at Bellerive Oval today.
Marsh has been in fine form in the second instalment of the BBL and his 78-run opening stand with Herschelle Gibbs built the platform for the Scorchers' win over the Melbourne Renegades last Saturday.
Marsh went on to reach 85 - the third-highest individual score this season - and propel himself into the top three for most runs scored in the tournament despite having played just four games.
He averages 62.3 with a strike rate of 133.6 and it is no coincidence that when he has played well, the Scorchers generally have, too.
Marsh has worked hard to put off-field dramas behind him and is focused on his domestic form before contemplating a return to the international arena.
But he can stake further claims for an international recall with another good performance against the Hurricanes today.
"I'm feeling like I'm hitting the ball really well and getting back to where I want to be," Marsh said. "I've worked really hard over the last few months on my technique and getting my confidence back.
"I've felt pretty good the last month or so and I guess in the Renegades game it was nice to go on and get a big score and put the team in a good position.
"As long as I keep working hard and getting out there and scoring a few runs, that's all that matters."
Scorchers coach Justin Langer said Marsh had shown maturity in his return to top form.
"As he knows, he's got a fair way to go to earn the trust and faith back from West Australian cricket and Australian cricket," Langer said.
"He's very aware of that and his maturity's been great for the last couple of weeks."
"I've worked really hard over the last few months on my technique and getting my confidence back."" *Shaun Marsh *