Marsh One-Day Cup 2019
Hungry Marsh hoping changes deliver results
While he impressed with the ball in his Test return, the allrounder knows he has to improve with the bat to demand selection
18 September 2019, 04:58 PM AEST
Mitch Marsh is fresh from a five-wicket haul at The Oval, but the all-rounder is acutely aware consistent runs are his currency as he chases a more permanent berth in Australia’s Test team.
After impressing in his return to the national side in the fifth Ashes Test, where he claimed 7-86 for the match and a career-best 5-46 in the first innings, Marsh will be looking to mount an irresistible case for selection through the opening rounds of the Marsh One-Day Cup and Sheffield Shield.
Australia’s Test summer starts with a two-match series against Pakistan from November 21 before a three-match series against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand commences on December 12.
While he has undergone a gruelling fitness regime in recent months, Marsh has also made significant changes to his technique in a bid to punch out runs more consistently.
“I think my technique’s certainly tightened up as a batsman,” Marsh said today from Perth Airport after arriving back from a four-month stint in England.
“I think now it’s just a case of turning my starts into big scores. Like (Australia coach) Justin Langer and (chairman of selectors) Trevor Hohns keep saying, we want guys bashing the door down. That’s the only way you get in the Australian team, it’s all about scoring big runs.
“I’ve obviously got myself a lot fitter over the last six months, to a point now where I feel really good with the ball in my hand and I can be a real threat with that.
“I’m certainly feeling good about my game at the moment.”
The 27-year-old endured a difficult period prior to his Test return in the fifth Ashes Test. He lost his place in the team following last summer’s home series against India and consequently surrendered his position as vice captain.
Last March, he suffered a serious injury when he was struck in the groin while preparing for a Shield fixture and was also overlooked for Australia’s World Cup squad.
He also lost his Cricket Australia central contract before being a surprise selection in the 17-man Ashes touring party.
Marsh’s hard labour paid dividends when he secured a recall, delivering an incredible spell on the opening day at The Oval.
Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow were among his victims as Marsh showcased the danger of the swinging ball.
“It was awesome to be back playing,” Marsh said.
“Obviously the last six months I lost my place in all three formats of the team, but I worked extremely hard to get back.
“Although I was running the drinks over there for the majority of the tour, I had the time of my life.
“I worked extremely hard on my game to make sure I was ready if I got an opportunity and I was able to take it with the ball, but unfortunately we lost.
“But I had an absolute ball over the last four months.”
Marsh said former Western Australia coach Langer had reinforced the importance of big runs in coming weeks.
The Warriors will contest seven Marsh One-Day Cup and four Shield matches before the first Test against Pakistan in Brisbane.
“For me personally, JL just said keep working hard. It’s pretty simple from him. He wants me to knock the door down with the bat for Western Australia and obviously take a few wickets,” Marsh said.
“But it was certainly nice to have that confidence from him at the start of the Test match.”
Marsh said he was “good to go” for the start of WA’s one-day domestic campaign on Saturday.
The Warriors will open their campaign against defending champions Victoria at the WACA Ground before facing Tasmania at the same venue next Wednesday.
“I’ll get in touch with the WACA staff and physios and see how I’ve pulled up over the next few days, but certainly looking forward to playing with WA again,” Marsh said.
“I’m just looking forward to getting back and seeing the Western Australian boys.
“I’ve missed them a lot actually over the last four months.
“I can’t wait to play for Western Australia again.
“It’s going to be a huge summer for Western Australia and Australia, so I’m pumped to get back into it.”