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Marsh should take Hussey's ODI role: Bevan
Joe Barton
17:21 AEST Mon Jan 14 2013

Australian one-day champion Michael Bevan has anointed Shaun Marsh as the man best suited to take over Michael Hussey's closing role in the national side.

Bevan made the finishing role his own in the late 1990s and early 2000s, before Hussey stepped up in 2004 - but there is no natural successor in the 50-over format to fill that role following the Hussey's retirement.

Sunday's eight-wicket loss to Sri Lanka highlighted Australia's need for a middle-order batsman adept at crafting a competitive total in the face of a top order collapse.

David Hussey, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell were handed that opportunity, but none capitalised - leaving veteran wicketkeeper batsman Brad Haddin to carry the load.

Bevan, whose career ODI average of 53.58 is the third highest of all time, believes Hussey will be difficult to replace but said Marsh, who has been overlooked for the first four ODIs against Sri Lanka, had all of the skills required to make it work.

Marsh has enjoyed a brilliant Big Bash League, scoring a competition-high 328 runs at an average of 65.6, prompting Bevan to sing his praises.

"I think he's a brilliant player," Bevan told AAP.

"From a T20 perspective and a one day cricket perspective, he could definitely fill a role there."

Bevan marvelled at Hussey's ability to dominate attacks and change the tempo of a game.

"I think he brought something special to the Australian cricket team and the Australian batting lineup," Bevan said.

"The consummate professional. He was a great player to watch.

"He was very technical and from a cricketer's perspective I really enjoyed watching him dominate bowlers whenever he chose to.

"He was the complete package and he just seemed to get better and better at his craft.

"As Australia have found in the last four or five years you just can't replace guys like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist.

"Having said that, from watching a little bit of T20 cricket domestically and one-day cricket, the talent stocks within Australia still seem to be good.

"Whilst you're never going to be able to replace Hussey straight away, I think there are good signs moving into the short future."

Marsh made a bright start to his Test career, scoring 141 on debut against Sri Lanka, but quickly fell out of favour following a miserable summer against India in 2011.

Bevan said Marsh deserved another chance in the five-day format but admitted Usman Khawaja, who has scored 206 Big Bash runs, deserved the first chance at wearing the baggy green in place of Hussey.

"Moving into the future it probably didn't go to plan with (Marsh) in the five-day game, but if he can work on his consistency he could be a very good option for the Australian team," Bevan said.

"I'd like to see Usman Khawaja in the longer version, I think he's tailor made for it and I think he'd be a good option."


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