Marsh on road to redemption
Marsh on road to redemption

Shaun Marsh's dominant Big Bash League performances have rocketed the Perth Scorchers batsman back into contention for Australian selection after a roller- coaster 12 months.

Marsh smashed 79 from 60 balls to play a key role in the Scorchers' 98-run win over Adelaide on Thursday night, which secured a semifinal at the WACA Ground next Wednesday.

Shane Warne's Melbourne Stars are the Scorchers' likely opponents and officials are expecting tickets to be snapped up quickly when they go on sale on Monday.

Marsh has produced some scintillating form with the bat in recent weeks, prompting Warne to call on Australian selectors to reinstate the powerful left-hander.

Scorchers import Herschelle Gibbs joined a growing chorus of support yesterday, urging selectors to pick Marsh for the tour of India, starting next month.

"When SOS (Marsh) is in this sort of form there's not too many that can beat him," Gibbs said.

"It's nice that he's firing for Australian cricket and obviously for Western Australian cricket, too.

"When he plays like this he's as good as they come.

"He's got the power, strength and touch. He's got everything - all the credentials needed to go far in international cricket."

Marsh, 29, has made changes to his lifestyle that have helped him improve his form dramatically and edge closer to realising his dream of returning to the national team.

He scored 141 on his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in September 2011 and followed up with 81 in the first innings of the next Test at Colombo.

But he had a nightmare home series against India last summer, making 18 runs in six innings at an average of three, including three ducks.

His Test average plummeted to 27.36 and he was axed from the side.

It was followed by a tumultuous Twenty20 Champions League campaign in South Africa late last year which led to Marsh being dropped from WA's Sheffield Shield line-up.

But he is back in a big way, overcoming hamstring and thumb injuries to average 65.60 at a strike rate of 128.12 in the Big Bash League, including four half centuries in seven innings.

"I've had my ups and downs over the last 12 months and it's certainly made me a stronger person within," Marsh said.

"I've had a lot of tough periods where I've thought to myself, 'am I going to get out of this'?

"I knew if I just kept on doing the work and training hard and sticking to what I knew best, I knew it was going to turn around for me."

Recently retired Test batsman Mike Hussey is yet to declare his availability for the BBL semifinal.

Hussey is taking a break with his family after calling time on his international career.

"When SOS (Marsh) is in this sort of form there's not too many that can beat him."" *Herschelle Gibbs *

The West Australian

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