Arthur backed for Aussie role

Ex-South Africa coach in contention to replace Nielsen

Last Updated: 21/09/11 12:49pm

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Arthur: ringing endorsement from Marsh

Arthur: ringing endorsement from Marsh

Sky Bet

Australia batsman Shaun Marsh believes former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur would be an ideal replacement for the outgoing Tim Nielsen.

Nielsen quit as Australia head coach after choosing not re-apply for his position, which is set to be revised and expanded as part of the recommendations of the Argus Report into Australia's failings during last winter's Ashes series.

Arthur is one of the frontrunners to take over the job, along with the likes of Steve Rixon, Justin Langer and Tom Moody.

Arthur has been Marsh's coach at the Western Warriors since leaving his role with South Africa in early 2010, and the rising Australia star believes he could be the perfect candidate to fill the void.

Nice guy

"He's got a very good cricket brain. You can sit down and talk to him about cricket all day. He communicates to his players very well. He's just an all-around nice guy."
Shaun Marsh Quotes of the week

"It's completely up to Mickey," said Marsh. "He's a fantastic coach. I've loved working with him at WA.

"He's certainly helped my game out a lot and I'm sure if he put his hat in the ring he'd do a great job.

"He's got a very good cricket brain. You can sit down and talk to him about cricket all day.

"He communicates to his players very well. He's just an all-around nice guy.

"But I'm pretty sure that his main priority at the moment is WA cricket. He wants us to perform very well this summer."

Marsh was speaking on his arrival back in Perth from Sri Lanka, where he shone with the bat as the tourists sealed victory in what turned out to be Nielsen's final series in charge.

Marsh left home as something of an unknown at Test level but has returned with his reputation enhanced in a big way, having scored a debut century on the way to an average of 80 over two Tests and three innings.

Seized chance

He was only in the side after Ricky Ponting was forced to return home for the birth of his second child. Marsh then stayed in Ponting's customary number three position when the former skipper returned, but the 28-year-old said this was no guarantee he would be selected in the Test team for the South Africa tour in October and November.

"I got a bit of a shock when 'pup' (skipper Michael Clarke) came up to me on the morning of the first day of the last Test and said I was batting three," Marsh said.

"To bat number three with Punter being in the side was a massive honour.

"I guess it's a great opportunity for me now to try and cement it and just work hard and hopefully stay in the team.

"I'm not too sure, I guess the team will get picked in the next few weeks, we'll just have to wait and see what they do there.

"I'll bat anywhere in the Test team, whether it's down the order, it doesn't bother me one little bit."

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