Shaun Marsh, the son of former Australian opening batsman Geoff Marsh is surely a more elegant stroke player than his father. Over the years he has become one of the most important batsmen in the Kings XI Punjab side due to his ability to get his team off to flying starts. Since the very first season he has been playing for the Kings XI Punjab and has played plenty of vital innings for the team based out of Chandigarh. Marsh provides the sort of quality that every team craves for at the top of the order. The fact that he can play spin well also works in his favour.
For as long as he has played for the Kings XI Punjab, Shaun Marsh has excelled mainly as an opening batsman. However, there have been times in the past few seasons when he has batted at number 3 as well. Every T20 eleven looks for an opener who can get the team off to a flying start, but on the other hand also possesses the technique to stabilise the innings if the conditions are not as favourable; Shaun Marsh is a cricketer is exactly in that mould. The lazy elegance might sometimes remind cricket fans of Mark Waugh; although the younger of the Waugh twins was a right hander and on his day there was no bowling attack in the world that could keep him quiet for long.
In the first season of the IPL, Shaun Marsh was bought outside of the auction and hence the actual amount that the Kings XI paid for him is unknown. However, in the 2011 auctions, he was bought back by the Kings XI for $40000, which incidentally was also his base price. However, the fact that no other franchise even put in a counter bid for him is a bit baffling since he had been one of the top batsmen in the competition. For the Kings XI, it must have been a pleasant surprise that they got their top player back into the fold without a bidding war.
In the first season of the IPL in 2008, Shaun Marsh had taken the tournament by storm with his brand of elegant stroke play. His best performance came in the first edition of the tournament, where he also ended up with the Orange Cap. Playing against the Rajasthan Royals, Marsh scored a chanceless 115 off 93 balls (4*11, 6*7) to knock the stuffing out of the Rajasthan Royals. Needless to say, the mammoth 221 put up by the Kings XI proved to be the winning score in that game.
Although Marsh has not been able to reach the same heights of IPL 1 when he won the Purple Cap with a total of 616 and a stupendous average of 68.44, it cannot be denied that the average that he has achieved in the successive tournaments is quite commendable. Otherwise he would not have had an outstanding overall average of 44.25 in 50 games. While the average shows the sort of consistency he brings to the table, his career strike rate of 133.26 makes it abundantly clear that he is a player who prefers to get his runs quickly. Marsh is a player who would be an asset for any T20 side.
Did You Know?
Most Australians sportsmen are known to be hard drinking individuals but in case of Shaun Marsh, it has led to disciplinary issues more than once in his career. Right at the beginning of his career he got into trouble for going on an alcohol fueled bender with fellow trouble maker Luke Pomersbach. That incident led to a 2 match ban in domestic cricket. More recently however, he was omitted from his domestic T20 squad for a night of revelry with his brother Mitchell in 2012, when the brothers were part of the Perth Scorchers’ side that was participating in the Champions League T20.
However, there is no need to think that he has to drink once in a while to drown his sorrows since he is currently in a relationship with Amanda Watson-one of the hottest WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends) in the cricket world at the moment.
By Soham Samaddar