SHAUN MARSH no longer feels he is in a dark place, and Australia's Twenty20 selectors have agreed by naming him in the 12-man squad for the two-match series against Sri Lanka, which starts at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.
Marsh, whose talents have been overshadowed by a series of alcohol-related incidents, credits Western Australia coach Justin Langer with resurrecting his career with a combination of tough love and a tougher training workload. Marsh topped the run-scoring list in the Big Bash League with 412 at 58.85 for runners-up the Perth Scorchers.
The 29-year-old No.3 has played seven Tests and was dropped a year ago. He has been out of the T20 side for 11 months and has not played a one-day international since 2011.
Marsh scored a century on his Test debut in September 2011, but less than five months later the left-hander was dumped from the team after managing just 17 runs at an average of 2.83 in Australia's home series against India.
Worse was to come for Marsh, who was caught up in the Scorchers' boozy night out in the T20 Champions League before being sent back to grade cricket in October.
''We sort of sat down and set a few goals out. He [Langer] was pretty tough with me,'' Marsh said on Monday. ''He's been a big influence, along with [fitness coach] Steve Smith.''
Not only is Marsh back in Australia's T20 side, but the Scorchers have qualified for the lucrative Champions League for another year and Australia's chairman of selectors, John Inverarity, is publicly hoping his fellow West Australian can one day return to Test cricket.
''It's been a pretty big turnaround. A few months ago I wasn't even picked for WA,'' Marsh said. ''I was doubting myself. I was in a pretty dark space there for a few months.
''I've worked really hard with Justin and Steve Smith, and went away and did some boxing with a mate of mine. I knew things were going to turn around for me if I was going to keep doing that.''