Shaun Marsh’s classy double ton for Western Australia has not only reinforced his Test credentials, it has proven he is more resistant to environmental factors than batteries, styrofoam and Shane Warne’s face.
With the 38-Test veteran’s timely reminder to selectors thrusting him back into national contention, leading ecologists now believe his imperishable prospects have surpassed plastic bags for non-biodegradability.
As scientific research has attested, plastic requires approximately 1000 years to decompose, which is about half the time Marsh has been afforded to hit his straps at national level.
The West Australian’s stunning 214 against a Victorian attack of Peter Siddle, Scott Boland and James Pattinson was delivered at the ripe old age of 36, a typical stage when a human begins to rot and undergo significant changes, such as switching from Twitter to Facebook.
This would usually mean consignment to the scrapheap for someone of Marsh’s ilk, with selectors traditionally uninterested in giving a mandate to middle-aged batsmen with the impending resilience of Shane Watson’s firewall.
However, considering the compost-like state of Australia’s batting – and, to a lesser extent, his double-hunj – opinion is growing the environmentally-indestructible Marsh could be in line for his 64th Test recall, provided he is not tangled around the leg of a turtle.
After being overlooked for Ashes selection due to a broken arm sustained by Pat Cummins – a move some Australians argue as responsible for elevating the seamer to the captaincy debate – again Australia is preparing for Marsh, and Marsh is preparing for Australia.
For those who haven’t burned his effigy, the veteran’s career began with a bang when he announced himself on the international stage in 2011 with a tremendous Test century on debut. It was a fatal mistake from which he would never recover.
From here, he has been slaughtered for wrongly being in the nation’s top-six best options amid an epidemic of dreadful batsmen, while also wearing blame for not rescuing Australia from things like embarrassing collapses and the second season of Love Island.
Despite this, selectors have been unable to resist Marsh’s sublime optics, with his pristine technique combining sumptuous driving and cutting with an overpowering instinct to score aerially through the slip cordon.
This has led to accusations from the public of selection bias, a controversy that has not only engulfed Marsh, but also fellow family members such as brother Mitch, father Swampy, and great-grandfather Rodney.
While universally denied, these claims have resurfaced with Mitch remaining in Test contention despite sustaining a broken hand from punching a wall, with selectors claiming a fifth-day wicket with cracks opening always requires someone who knows a plasterer.
But despite his popularity at the selection table, it hasn’t been enough to cement Shaun’s spot. This has been even more apparent in recent years as he became unsuited to Australia’s new batting prototype, a style which solely focuses on not running-out Steve Smith.
Now Marsh’s double-ton has thrust him back to the forefront, not only because the nation remains buried in a landfill of perishable middle-order batsmen, but also because he’s not Joe Burns.
He will be difficult to rule out for yet another recall should the cards fall in his favour, especially considering we live in weird times of names and numbers on shirts and a Test skipper who just scored his first century since the premiere of Bondi Rescue.
Additionally, Marsh’s preference among Australia’s hierarchy remains strong.
Not only has the top brass provided a subtle endorsement by naming the domestic competition in his honour, Justin Langer has created a new environment of fluid selection principles, which is mainly selecting anyone from Perth who can hit him laces-out with the Sherrin.