Mitch Marsh shakes hands with his brother Shaun Marsh after the final ball on Day 3 of the 5th Ashes Test between Australia and England at the SCG. Shaun 98 not out, Mitch 63*Picture. Phil Hillyard
Mitch Marsh shakes hands with his brother Shaun Marsh after the final ball on Day 3 of the 5th Ashes Test between Australia and England at the SCG. Shaun 98 not out, Mitch 63*Picture. Phil Hillyard

How the Marsh brothers won Australia over

NOT so long ago Shaun and Mitchell Marsh were Australia's most unpopular sportsmen.

Controversial selections for Australia's Test summer, the West Australian batsmen were bashed in blogs, torn up on Twitter and even booed in Brisbane at the beginning of the Ashes.

The Marsh boys were the players Australia loved to hate and only in the team because their famous father Geoff was a selector.

Not any more.

In the space of just six weeks, the Marsh brothers have silenced their long list of critics.

In fact, after a triumphant day at the SCG where they both scored 50s, many of those critics are now be fans.

Usman Khawaja said watching the Marsh brothers bat together was a privilege, particularly after the hammering they've copped from critics.

"It's great. From a team aspect and obviously from a teammate and mate aspect," he said.

"Both Marsh's have copped a lot of slack over last couple of years, Shaun for even longer.

"To play really well and the way we know they can… it couldn't happen to better blokes. Their whole family is so nice, it's really nice to see."

Captain Steve Smith said Shaun Marsh was in career best touch.

"He's just magnificent out there," said Smith on Nine.

"He's just out there batting, not thinking too much.

"Justin Langer said at the start of the summer that he's batting as well as he's ever seen and he's known him since he was 10.

"He's been exceptional this series, got big partnerships and a couple of big scores and hopefully he gets another hundred tomorrow."

The Marsh brothers have excelled in this series.
The Marsh brothers have excelled in this series.

The SCG faithful did what would have been unthinkable just a little over a month ago when they stood up and applauded, first Shaun when he made his 50, and then Mitch when he made a half-ton of his own.

The only boo of the day came when Shaun pushed a single to move to 98 at the start of the final over.

The crowd wanted to see him score his ton.

The ugly siblings are now our cricketing Cinderellas.

Shaun, 34 came in after the dismissal of Steve Smith and looked at ease from the moment he took middle stump, cutting and driving his way to his 3rd 50 of the summer.

Mitchell started slow - blocking and leaving - before waking up the SCG with a barrage of blasts before going on to match his brother's minor milestone.

The younger brother even hit two sixes in one over to bring the crowd, once again, to their feet.

The maligned brothers have now locked down spots in the Australian Test team after a remarkable one-test series turnaround.

For Shaun it has been a seven-year wait.

Making his Test debut in 2011, Shaun can finally stop having nightmares about selection meetings after scoring the third most runs of any Australian player this series.

With 363 run in the series, he only trails Australian powerhouses Dave Warner and Steve Smith.

Mitchell, under less pressure because of his age and ability with the ball, arrived as a Test in Perth when he belted England for 181.

The 26-year-old was just swatting away any lingering doubts when he was belting boundaries on his way to 63 not out.


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