Perth - Western Australia batsman Shaun Marsh has established himself as the front runner to open the batting alongside David Warner in the first Test against South Africa in Perth.
Marsh proved his fitness in WA's day/night clash with South
Australia in Perth, looking comfortable at the crease as he made 73.
The opener had been a doubt for the first Test after picking
up a hamstring strain in a Matador Cup game in which he made a score of 70.
Marsh has made centuries in each of his last two Tests
having scored 182 in Hobart before he got the axe and then putting the bulk of
Australia's batsmen to shame as he scored a ton in Sri Lanka when most of the
order were struggling to crack double figures.
Cameron Bancroft, Marsh's WA teammate had been tipped by
many to make his debut at the WACA if Marsh had failed to prove his fitness but
it seems as though he will have to wait. Bancroft made a score of 20 against
Marsh has said he felt he had to play in the first Shield
game of the season to prove his fitness to the selector's ahead of what is
shaping up to be a tough series against a fired up Proteas outfit.
The right-hander told cricket.com.au: "I didn't ask too
many questions but I was guessing that was the feeling.
"I worked pretty hard over the last couple of days to
get right and thankfully ... I got through the first day which I'm happy about.
"I ran pretty much to my maximum speed and even though
the physio wasn't too keen for me to do that, you get out there and instinct
Marsh felt the only negative from his performance was his
failure to kick on and make a century, he was brilliantly caught and bowled by
Baggy Green Teammate Travis Head.
The opener added: "It was nice. Obviously I was disappointed with my shot after doing all the hard work early doors.
feet were moving pretty good so hopefully next time I can cash in on it. It was
nice to get some runs but it would have been nice to get a hundred."
Elsewhere Queensland opener Joe Burns has made things
interesting by cracking his 12th first class hundred against New South Wales at
the Gabba. At the time of writing Burns was 111 not out at the dinner break in
Another of those touted as a possible opener Usman Khawaja, made 79 for Queensland against NSW.