SYDNEY (Reuters) - It was understandable the Australian batsman Shaun Marsh got a bit carried away when his little brother Mitchell scored his century on the fourth day of the fifth Ashes test against England on Sunday.
It was not only that his sibling had been at the other end when he himself had reached the magic milestone at the Sydney Cricket Ground little more than an hour earlier.
It was perhaps as much as anything because only a few months ago, it looked highly unlikely that either brother would be wearing the baggy green against England, let alone playing key roles in a crushing series triumph.
Shaun, at 34 the elder by eight years, had been dumped from the test side for the seventh time and lost his central contract, while Mitch was struggling to find his way back into the international reckoning after a shoulder surgery.
It made their moment on a scorching hot Sydney morning all the sweeter and Shaun got so carried away he nearly ran Mitchell out as they completed the two runs that gave the younger brother his second test ton only a few weeks after his first.
“I pretty much went for the high five and Shaun went for the hug,” said Mitchell.
“We somewhere parked in the middle and had a quick split second level of panic and hugged again after that.”
Shaun was happy to take the blame.
“I think emotions sort of got the better of me and I just wanted to give him a hug,” he said. “I saw him starting to celebrate and sort of lost all concept of where the ball was and what was happening with the ball.
“Thankfully it all worked out. I was just really happy for him.”
All-rounder Mitchell’s first test hundred came after he was called into the team for the third Ashes clash in Perth and was a reward for the hard work he did on his batting after his recuperation from surgery.
“To be honest I really didn’t think I was going to play any part for Australia this summer,” he said.
“It’s been a whirlwind month for both of us really and we’re just both really happy to be here now and to be contributing to a winning Australian team.”
Shaun’s recall for the series was his eighth and caused huge controversy, the selectors being vindicated when he scored an unbeaten 126 in Adelaide.
“Six months ago I lost my contract and was left out of the test team and didn’t know what the future held at this level,” he recalled.
“I went away and wanted to just enjoy myself and when I did get picked again it was emotional.”
Shaun’s 156 on Sunday was his sixth test century and, combined with Mitchell’s 101, helped put Australia in a strong position to claim a 4-0 series victory on the final day on Monday.
Neither brother, though, was prepared to consider yet whether they might retain their places for the tour of South Africa later this year.
“It’s been nice contributing to the team over the last few weeks and today,” said Shaun. “I’ll just keep working hard, keep enjoying it, and not look too far ahead.”
Editing by Amlan Chakraborty