Shaun Marsh remembers the moment he first understood the aura around cricket’s most meaningful contest.
It came during the 1989 Ashes tour, when Allan Border’s team were labelled “possibly the worst side to ever tour England” by the press and won 4-0.
Marsh was tearing around England with his dad, Australia opener Geoff.
“I was only six years old at the time but I can remember bits and pieces,” Shaun Marsh told AAP.
“Playing out the back of the stands and trying to get into the changerooms after they won. The old man would kick me out fairly quickly.
“To now get an opportunity to play in an Ashes series – and score a hundred in Adelaide – it was bloody special.
“I’ve watched so many players over the years score hundreds against England, to do it was an amazing feeling.”
Marsh waited almost 30 years after his eye-opening trip to England alongside dad but finally enjoyed success against Australia’s rivals, earning man-of-the-match honours in Adelaide.
There were a couple of false starts – most notably when he played a single Test during the 2015 Ashes that coincided with the carnage Stuart Broad created at Trent Bridge.
Marsh excelled in junior competitions alongside the likes of Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson. At age 19 he scored 92 for Western Australia against England.
One UK newspaper report of that Ashes tour game refers to the left-hander unleashing several sumptuous drives. The cover drive remains his greatest asset and indicator of form – there were plenty of them in last week’s unbeaten 126 at Adelaide Oval.
“I’m relaxed, trusting my game and keeping it as simple as I can … I’ve just got to keep working hard,” Marsh said.
The 34-year-old feared his international career was over after being overlooked for this year’s tour of Bangladesh. He is unwilling to speculate how long the current golden run can last.
“The body is feeling really good, I’ve just got to keep on to of that and keep having fun,” Marsh said, preparing to play the third home Test of his stop-start career.
“I’m trying not to look too far in front and just enjoy it.”