Johannesburg, Feb.24 (ANI): For too long it's been Marcus Who? When Marcus North came on to bowl his first ball for Australia in Potchefstroom this week the ground announcer said it was "Phil Hughes taking up the attack".
That caused some mirth.
For the rest of the over his teammates were encouraging the West Australian batsman and off-spinner, yelling out "Come on Hughesy".
An unknown when he got on the plane to South Africa, North will be much better known by the end of this week, as he looks to have played himself into Test contention, bagging six wickets in the second innings of the tour game and hitting two undefeated half-centuries, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The West Australia captain has 8880 runs in a decade of first-class cricket, including 22 centuries and 51 50s.
He has concentrated on his off-spin after a discussion with coach Tom Moody a few years back and is clearly reaping the rewards now.
North says it has been a frustrating time watching the years tick by and knowing the chance of entering the Test team fell with each squad missed.
One thing in North's favour if he makes the side is, like Hussey and Darren Lehmann when they debuted, they came in with years of experience.
"When you've had 10 years experience at first-class level, I think that has to help you in a lot of ways," he said.
"I think being captain and having that leadership responsibility back home, I guess, makes me more of a rounded cricketer."
North's best chance to make the squad is as an all-rounder, although Andrew McDonald played that role in the last Test Australia played.
The Wanderers ground in Johannesburg has a reputation for favouring seamers such as the incumbent Victorian, a fact North concedes.
"It's something that we'll have to assess when we have a look at the conditions," he said.
"I've never played at the Wanderers so I'm not too sure what the conditions will present.
"If my role is as a batter who offers that bowling option, if that works for the best balance of the team, well, that's great. It depends on the balance of what Ricky (Ponting) and the selectors want to go with when they assess the conditions this week." (ANI)