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Langer backs Shaun Marsh to fire
By Justin Chadwick
16:23 AEST Thu Nov 22 2012

New Western Australia coach Justin Langer hopes Shaun Marsh will become the Warriors' best batsman for the next five years after handing the former Test opener a Sheffield Shield recall.

Marsh hasn't featured for WA since being dropped for his involvement in the Perth Scorchers' boozy night out in South Africa last month.

The 29-year-old missed one Twenty20 match for the Scorchers, two one-dayers and two Shield encounters as punishment for the big night out and his recent poor form.

But after making 64 for WA's second XI side this week and displaying greater hunger to get his career back on track, Marsh will be welcomed back for the Warriors' Shield clash with Tasmania at Bellerive Oval, starting on Sunday.

Marsh's early career with WA was blighted by several off-field issues, but Langer felt the talented left-hander had finally learnt his lesson.

"I've sensed a shift in that he realises how important it is for him to make good decisions from now on," Langer said on Thursday.

"It hasn't been lip service in the past, but he understands it's now or never for him - certainly in this state.

"I sense there's some positive energy coming out of Shaun.

"Hopefully, him being back in the team and playing well in Tassie this week ... will be a good confidence boost for him.

"(I hope) he dominates and is our best player for the next five years."

Former Tiger Travis Birt, who made an unbeaten 156 for WA's second XI, has also earned a recall to the 13-man WA squad, along with Hilton Cartwright.

The Warriors will be without injured allrounder Mitchell Marsh, who will miss the rest of the summer after undergoing surgery to repair a torn hamstring, and opener Liam Davis (thumb).

Left-arm paceman Mitchell Johnson has been named vice-captain for the rest of the season after Adam Voges took over as skipper from Marcus North.

Langer urged Mitch Marsh to use his time on the sidelines to experience life outside of cricket.

"It's a great opportunity to do a bit of study or work experience," Langer said of the 21-year-old.

WA sit fourth on the Shield table with eight points from four games, with Tasmania (10 points) in third place.

WA: Adam Voges (capt), Michael Beer, Jason Behrendorff, Travis Birt, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Marcus Harris, Michael Hogan, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Marcus North, Tom Triffitt, Sam Whiteman.


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