Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"IPL no match to a bilateral series"

Rookie Shaun Marsh is feeling the pressure of a high-octane series between India and Australia.

As a child, Shaun Marsh spent a lot of time in the Australian set-up travelling with his father Geoff, the former opening batsman. By the time he had played 15 ODIs for Australia, Marsh’s younger brother Mitchell had already given up Australian Rules football to play first class cricket for Western Australia. Amidst a vibrant sporting atmosphere in his family, Shaun believes there is no rivalry between him and his brother.

“There is no competition as such in the family. My father played Test and one-day cricket for Australia, my brother plays first class cricket back home and I have played 15 ODIs for Australia.

“We are really proud of that achievement and it will be nice to see Mitchell and I play international cricket for Australia together,” says Shaun.

Nagpur presented Shaun a surprise. Injury to James Hopes meant Shaun was drafted into the playing XI.

“It will be a real challenge for our young team. There are many new faces in our team. India is the toughest place to play cricket in the world. I am really looking forward to the challenge,” the 26-year-old said.

Although he regards India as very tough opponents, he has firm faith in his team to play competitive cricket to topple the hosts.

“We’ve got a youthful environment in our group. The one-day form that we have showed in England and then the Champions Trophy victory has given our side a lot of confidence before playing the Indians. Yet, we will have to play really well to win the series. But we are confident of giving Indians a tough fight.”

Shaun is no stranger to Indian cricket. His Indian Premier League stint gave him a good idea of Indian conditions.

“Of course, I have played on these pitches before and it will help me no doubt. But it is a totally different playing in the IPL compared to playing against Team India. There will be a lot of pressure on me and I will have to raise my level of game,” said the Kings XI Punjab player.

Shaun has been quick to identify one of Australia’s biggest nemesis- his brilliant King’s XI skipper, Yuvraj Singh, of course.

“Yuvi is a wonderful player. I am sure our bowlers will try to sort him out. He is a very dangerous player and hopefully he doesn’t score too many runs against us.” Yuvraj made a dashing return (23 off 24 balls) to ODI cricket in Nagpur after a finger injury sustained during the Champions Trophy in South Africa.

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