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Australia's forgotten Mitch making a name for himself


Mitch Marsh is still searching for form with the bat at Test level, but Australia’s new premier allrounder has never bowled better.

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Marsh sent down 15 overs in total during the first Test at the Gabba, where the hosts cruised to a 208-run win over New Zealand.

He claimed three wickets, none more controversial or vital than Brendon McCullum in NZ’s second innings.

Marsh made his Test debut against Pakistan in 2014, earning a call up predominantly as a hard-hitting batsman.

But in Brisbane, as was the case throughout the Ashes, the 24-year-old excelled with the ball a lot more than the bat.

“In my first few Tests I was finding my feet, played on some pretty flat wickets,” Marsh said in Perth ahead of Friday’s second Test.

“Then I played in England where the ball swings and (now) in Australian conditions, where the ball generally bounces more than anywhere else in the world.

“I certainly haven’t tried to slow it down. If anything I’m trying to bowl faster.”

Coach Darren Lehmann was full of praise for Marsh’s medium pace in the lead-up to the WACA Test.

“He almost gives us a four-quick attack, which is nice,” Lehmann said.

“We’d love him to make some runs but we’re very impressed with the way he bowls.”

Since being recalled to the Test side at the expense of Shane Watson in England, Marsh is yet to score more than 27.

“I’ve had a few opportunities to score runs and I haven’t scored as many as I would have liked,” he said.

It’s a trend the West Australian is understandably keen to end, although he had little chance to do so in the first Test.

Marsh didn’t bat in Australia’s first innings of 4(dec)-556 then was out for two as they chased quick runs prior to another declaration.

“It’s a no-win situation, that one – quick runs, and we’re going to declare,” Lehmann said.

“That’s always a tough one. At the end of the day he gets a chance to play at home this week and play well.”

Marsh noted he hadn’t been home in about six weeks and was thrilled about the prospect of playing his first Test at the WACA.

“It’s obviously very exciting to be able to play in front of your family and friends,” he said.

“I know the conditions – and get to sleep in my own bed – so it’ll be great.”


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