Mitch Marsh
Mitch Marsh is thriving in Test cricket as he backs his strengths. Image by Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS
  • cricket

Marsh’s happy place bodes well for Australian cricket

Justin Chadwick December 19, 2023

Mitch Marsh has finally embraced the Mitch Marsh way, and Australian cricket is reaping the rewards.

Marsh produced quickfire knocks of 90 and 63no to be named man of the match in Australia’s Test series-opening 360-run win over Pakistan in Perth.

The 32-year-old also claimed the crucial scalp of Babar Azam in the first innings to further highlight his all-round value to the team.

 Mitch Marsh’s bowling adds to his value to the Test side. Image by Richard Wainwright/AAP PHOTOS 

Marsh has been a revelation since his four-year Test hiatus was ended during the Ashes in July, and he looms as a key figure over the next two years ahead of the arrival of India and England to Australia.

One key difference in the new-look Marsh is his willingness to embrace his strengths, rather than try to imitate the strengths of others.

Marsh is the first to admit he will never have the temperament of an Usman Khawaja or a Marnus Labuschagne, but one thing he has in spades is power.

It’s that live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword mantra that is serving Marsh so well in all three formats of the game.

“I think he’s just got a really clear process at the moment in whatever format it is,” Australia captain Pat Cummins said.

“He knows how to score runs, and you know he doesn’t really care what it looks like. 

“I think in the past you can get caught up in, ‘There’s a template of how you’re meant to play Test cricket or supposed to play Test cricket and you’ve got to have a good forward defence’.

“I think how Travis Head’s gone about it, David Warner his whole career, and now Mitch Marsh shows that it doesn’t really matter how you score them, as long as you’re scoring runs.

“I think Mitch has found a really good game plan, wherever he is in the world.”

Australia have won 15 Tests in a row against Pakistan in Australia, and they’ll be aiming to continue that hot run during the Boxing Day Test.

Nathan Lyon will enter the match brimming with confidence after snaring Test wicket No.500 during the win in Perth. 

“He’s a star. He’s so good,” Labuschagne said of Lyon, who joined Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath as Australians to have taken 500 Test wickets..

“He’s got a natural ability, very gifted ability of bowling a very good off-spin ball.

“The amount of revs he gets – it’s almost impossible for anyone else to get that amount of revs. 

“That skill alone is almost unteachable.

“I’ve played with a lot of off spinners and there’s no one that can get that shape on the ball with that sort of 45 degree angle seam. 

“And that’s what makes it so hard when teams come to Australia, because it’s actually the bounce he gets, the steepness.

“It’s just been unbelievable to watch his career.”