James Marshall has been quite handy as an opening as well as middle-order batsman for the New Zealand team. He has shared the team line-up with his twin brother Hamish Marshall at some instances. Since his debut in first-class circuit in 1997-98 he has been better as an opener in the domestic circuit but in his ODI debut against Australia in early 2005 he played in the middle-order. Later that year he also made his maiden Test appearance against the same side but was asked to be an opener owing to his technique. Marshall faced a slump in his batting form very soon costing him the national contract in 2006. New Zealand's issues with the top-order batsmen and a commendable 2007-08 domestic season where he scored 616 first-class runs at 51.33 got him a place in the side for tour of England in 2008.