Due to Shaun Marsh’s many injuries and ultimately retirement this season, Teague Wyllie was shifted into WA’s No. 3 position and now has the chance to make it his own.
There is no question that Teague Wyllie’s first complete season of first-class cricket would have gone a bit differently if he would had the chance to write the story.
It would have first likely included a few more runs, and second, a multitude of partnerships batting with West Australian star Shaun Marsh, since he had just made his first century in just his third first-class match.
With Marsh’s promotion to the state team a year ago, Teague Wyllie has gravitated around Marsh, WA’s all-time leading run-scorer across all formats, who is a hero to the adolescent batting prodigy.
With Marsh making just one appearance this season owing to a variety of ailments before declaring his departure from first-class cricket earlier this month, the 18-year-old has taken on the No. 3 post his idol filled with such grandeur for much of his storied 22-year career for WA.
Wyllie did not take the field with the experienced run machine in that game, and it turns out that the youthful right-first hander’s two games from a year ago, which featured WA’s record-breaking Marsh Sheffield Shield victory, were the only occasions he did so.
In light of this, Teague Wyllie can take some solace in knowing that Marsh was his last roommate while traveling as a member of the Western Australian team. The two shared a bed during their recent match against Tasmania in Hobart, which Marsh was unable to attend due to a broken finger sustained in the previous match against South Australia.
In an interview with cricket.com.au’s Unplayable Podcast prior to Thursday’s Sheffield Shield final, Wyllie said of the man who was essentially part of the coaching staff on the trip, “We used to settle down and watch a few TV episodes and chat cricket at the end of the night.”
I am grateful for the chance to converse with him and absorb knowledge from a Western Australian cricket icon. My interaction with Shaun was limited to just two Shield matches – my debut and a Shield final – but these games hold great significance to me.
Rising Cricket Star Wyllie Aims to Follow in the Footsteps of Legend Shaun Marsh
When we reminisce about the legendary status of Shaun Marsh after 20 or 30 years, I’ll consider myself fortunate to have shared the pitch with him in a few matches, which is a privilege that many others haven’t had.
Wyllie, who broke the record for the youngest player to win the Sheffield Shield last year, has a chance this week to add a second before turning 19 years old.
WA head coach Adam Voges believes that the batsman will have the opportunity to establish himself in the same batting position as Shaun Marsh, who held it for the majority of his career. Voges is confident that the new player has the potential to make the position his own for an extended period, similar to how the renowned left-handed batsman dominated it over the past decade.
Wyllie is willing to bat anywhere there is an opportunity after beginning the season at No. 5, when he achieved his first-ever first-class century versus NSW in October.
By his own admission it’s been a “challenging” season since that first ton, but it’s not through a lack of dedication.
Voges admits that the season has been rather up and down for the player.
“He started out strong, scoring that hundred in the opening Shield match, but has faced some difficulties this summer.
Nonetheless, he put in a lot of effort into honing his trade during the season as we would have anticipated, and now that Shaun is retiring, he has this chance. to long-term seize control of the No. 3 position.
We are aware of his extraordinary skill, and he puts forth a lot of effort to give himself the greatest chance to perform.
Since the Under-19 World Cup last year, Teague Wyllie has experienced a rapid rise through the Australian cricket ranks. After the Shield final, he will travel to New Zealand for his first “A” tour, where he will play against the Dukes ball under conditions meant to simulate those that Australian batters will encounter in England.
Yet, having shifted to the world of a professional athlete at the age of 18, with cricket absorbing a major portion of his time prior to that, he is beginning to see the value of leisure to keep his thoughts off the reality of his day-to-day work.
I did not respect downtime very much until about a year ago, Wyllie admits.
“I was attempting to play just little golf, yet I was also trying to work full time on a farm and train full time, and I was very worn out.
“Once the new season began, I made the decision that I needed to attempt to take occasional breaks from the game.
“So whether that was getting out and playing golf, visiting the beach with my dog, or visiting my family that now I live up in Perth, those are the things that I have attempted to accomplish in order to get away from golf,” he continued.
Wyllie, who grins as he says that his golf “is not getting any better,” has decided to wait until July to pick up a bat after Australia A’s two four-day matches with New Zealand A in Lincoln. Then, he hopes to take Marsh’s previous No. 3 position as his own the next summer.
Because I have opened the batting in almost every senior or junior cricket game I have played, he adds, “I do truly appreciate batting three. I love being up near the top of the order.”
The less the wait period, the better for me since I become a little anxious.
“The WACA can provide some difficulties for batsmen batting higher in the order with new ball on a difficult surface, yet following the initial 30 or 40 balls, it may be the best location in the world to bat.
“I have played 12 or 13 four-day games this year, with a few more to come… so I will give myself a great rest so I am ready to go for next year in July and August.”