Marsh relaxed in battle with Rogers for Ashes place

Australian opener Shaun Marsh acknowledges the applause after reaching his hundred against Kent yesterday. Picture: Nigel French/PA
Australian opener Shaun Marsh acknowledges the applause after reaching his hundred against Kent yesterday. Picture: Nigel French/PA
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Shaun Marsh is happy to take things as they come as he battles fellow opener Chris Rogers to nail down a place in Australia’s Ashes side, having hit a century on the opening day of the tour match at Kent.

Left-hander Marsh stood in for Rogers during the tour of West Indies when his team-mate was sidelined following a concussion. With regular opener David Warner one of those rested by the tourists, Marsh made the most of his opportunity with 114 as Australia coasted to 348 for three.

Rogers, meanwhile, scored 84 as he looked to put the recent negative headlines following his involvement in a company which had been blocked from selling hospitality tickets at the Lord’s Test behind him.

Marsh accepts there is little he can do to influence the selectors other than continue to produce runs ahead of the Ashes opener in Cardiff on 8 July.

“It was nice to get a hundred and bat a bit of time,” the 31-year-old from Western Australia said.

“I haven’t had a lot of red ball cricket over here, so it was nice to get through that first session and build an innings.

“It was nice batting out there with Chris today. I thought we worked really well together and kept each other going.

“I thought he batted really well, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens over the next couple of weeks. I haven’t really thought too much about selections and all that stuff.”

Australia were never really troubled after being put in to bat and Marsh added: “We want to play the brand of cricket we have been playing for a little bit and I thought today was a good step towards that.

“Hopefully, we can build on what we have done today as a group, bat a bit more time and then the bowlers can come out and have a crack as well.”

There were a few moments for the home supporters in a bumper crowd of more than 5,000 at the Spitfire Ground to enjoy, with Matt Hunn claiming all three wickets, including that of Australia skipper Michael Clarke for 56.

“I was looking forward to today ever since we found out we were going to be playing Australia,” said the 21-year-old right-armer, making only his fourth appearance for Kent.

“Luckily enough, I was given the nod, and am really pleased to have picked up three wickets.

“It was a challenging day but a good one. There was no real margin for error at all but it was good to test yourself against the best, because then you know where you are at.”

Hunn admitted Kent had “geared ourselves up for bowling first”. He added: “I think [that was the plan] but obviously the toss was done properly, I stay out of all of that.”

There was a brief stoppage in play late on when a spectator came onto the outfield, getting inside a tent before emerging in his underpants to be escorted back off by security staff and ejected from the ground.