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Mitchell Marsh, the Australian all-rounder, hopes to silence critics with a tweaked technique in the upcoming India series and believes he’s a ‘much better cricketer from where he was 12 months ago’.
“I don’t think I’ve 100 per cent cemented my spot down but I feel like from where I was 12 months ago I’m a much better cricketer and I showed that last year in the Ashes and the first couple of games in South Africa,” Marsh said in a chat with The Unplayable Podcast on Wednesday (November 28).
When Australia toured UAE last month, Marsh probably had the best chance to prove his potential as a batting all-rounder slotting in as a number four in a relatively inexperienced line-up. Unfortunately, though for the 27-year-old, the inswinging deliveries from Mohammad Abbas exposed Marsh’s tentative foot work and eventually he was dismissed thrice (all three lbw to Abbas) mustering a scanty average of 7.5 in four innings.
“I enjoyed the opportunity, but I didn’t take it,” revealed Marsh. “I would imagine if I play I’ll be at No.6. When I first started playing cricket I used to hate batting at No.6 because I was young and wanted to bat at No.4. But the more I’ve played at No.6 I’ve learned to really love that role,” he further added.
There has been a lot of chatter regarding the selection of Marsh brothers since the conclusion of UAE tour none notable than former Australian quick Geoff Lawson who, in an interview with Fox Sports, said “Got to move on from this perpetual disappointment that (is) the Marsh brothers”
Treating the criticism with pinch of salt, Marsh said: “I love the fact that Australians are so passionate about sport. The world we live in now, with social media, everyone gets to have an opinion and a lot of people see those opinions. It’s very easy for that to grow around the country,” he added.
“Ultimately, I’ll do my best for Australian cricket and not everyone’s going to agree that I’m always in the side or whatnot, but I’ve got a job to do for the boys. I try to do that to the best of my ability, I train hard, get around the boys as much as I can and that’s all I can control. Hopefully I can perform this year and who knows, maybe I’ll change a few opinions around the country.”
The Western Australian all-rounder had a terrific summer last year where he slammed two centuries during the Ashes before adding a vital 96 against South Africa in Durban earlier this year. The recent dip of form, however, seemed to have raised many concerns as Marsh failed to register a fifty in his last 11 innings.
Post the UAE tour, Marsh spent time in Brisbane with his batting coach Scotty Meuleman to tweak a few things in his batting technique and the move, evidently, worked wonders for junior Marsh as he compiled 151 on his return to the Shield against Queensland on November 3.
“As an international cricketer you’re always tweaking your technique, looking back on footage,” Marsh said. “I had a good couple of hits with Scotty Meuleman, my batting coach. He picked up a few things; my eyes weren’t really level at the point of release, which for me is really important being so tall.
“It only takes for me to fall over a little bit and I tend to get hit on the pad. I went over to Brisbane and I was able to rectify that and it was really nice to come back and get a big hundred. My spot in the team, there’s always a lot of chat and talk about it, so the only way for me to put that to the side is by making lots of runs in Shield cricket and playing well,” he further elaborated.
Marsh also added that he is just one good innings away from changing perceptions around the country. “I’m only ever one innings away from changing that and hopefully I’ll be able to start well against India if I get picked and go from there,” he said. “I have to believe I’m the best all-rounder in the country because if I don’t I’m a sitting duck. I’ll continue to believe that, I’ll continue to train hard and hopefully it all comes off for me”
Marsh, the only all-rounder in the 14-man Australia squad for the first two Tests, also exuded that he’s ready to play any kind of role for his side. “You always find yourself in different situations, you can come in when the team’s in a bit of trouble or sometimes you come out at 4-300 and get to have a bit of fun. I’ve grown to love that role and I think I’m best suited to No.6 in the Test team,” he concluded.
The first of the four Tests against India starts on December 6 at the Adelaide Oval.
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