Marsh, not Hughes should open for Australia in Perth Test: Arthur

Thursday, December 9, 2010

SYDNEY - Former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur has said that talented batsman Shaun Marsh should open the batting for Australia in the third Test ahead of the out-of-form Phillip Hughes.

Arthur, now coaching Weatern Australia, said Marsh was the equal of South African batsman A.B. de Villiers, who is ranked fifth in the International Cricket Council Test batting rankings, in so far as natural flair and pure ball-striking ability is concerned.

“Shaun Marsh is the most talented batsman I have coached and that goes with all our players at South African level,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Arthur, as saying.

“… A.B. de Villiers and Shaun Marsh are the two best I’ve seen. It’s a big rap and I mean it. He’s a phenomenal player. He’s the cleanest hitter of the ball I’ve seen. He should be playing Test cricket, there’s no doubt in my mind,” he said.

Arthur’s comments came a day after Ponting strongly indicated that Hughes, averaging 25 in first-class cricket this season, would replace the injured Simon Katich.

Marsh has performed with distinction at the top of the order for Australia in one-dayers and is in career-best form for WA in the first-class arena, scoring 339 runs this summer at an average of 84.75.

Arthur also supported Shane Warne’s view that left-arm spinner Michael Beer, who has 16 wickets at just under 40 from five matches, should replace Xavier Doherty in Perth.

He likened the inexperienced Beer to South African spinner Paul Harris, who played a key defensive role for the Proteas two summers ago. (ANI)

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