The rise of Mitch Marsh 2.0

Saurabh Gandle Roar Guru

By Saurabh Gandle, Saurabh Gandle is a Roar Guru

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    Back in 2014, Australian captain Michael Clarke praised the debutant Mitch Marsh, earmarking him for captaincy after glimpses of his maturity and understanding of match situations.

    With his display of cricketing maturity way beyond his age, Clarke could foresee a bright future for young Marsh, and he responded in style by scoring 87 in his first Test against Pakistan in UAE when everyone crumbled around him.

    His performance saw him fast-tracked into the World Cup team in 2015 and Marsh responded by picking up five wickets in the very first match against England. Though he didn’t take part further in the tournament, he played the role of a difference maker in the Kangaroos’ victory over England in the limited overs series preceding the Ashes.

    He would pick wickets whenever partnerships would begin to develop and scored some handy runs down the order. With Shane Watson falling down the pecking order, young Mitch was seen as a worthy replacement to Shane Watson.

    But injuries and loss of form meant he would score runs at 21.21 before getting injured during the tour of India.

    But it was a blessing in disguise, as Marsh could get some time to reflect on under Justin Langer and offseason did him a world of good. As his defence and backfoot game improved which meant more repertoire of shots in his armoury.

    He has even given up a chance to play in the IPL to play in-country cricket to increase his chance of getting back. Instead, he will be playing for Surrey as preparation for the 2019 Ashes and the World Cup.

    He was given the honours of leading the Western Australia team, and he responded by leading from the front with 141 against Queensland. To his luck, the dip in Peter Handscomb’s performance coincided with Marsh’s emergence.

    Though he didn’t bowl much as a batter, he was picked in the side and responded with 181 in the third Test in Perth. In the Boxing Day Test, he followed that up with another hundred in a draw, adding the silver lining to the fantastic summer he had when months before, even he could have thought his dream of donning another baggy green was over.

    Following his selection, to the South African tour, he made an immediate impact by scoring 96 in the first Test on a pitch that was deteriorating, countering Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj to take Australia to a match-winning score of 351.

    And later, he came back with the ball to pick up all vital wicket of Aiden Markram for 143 when South African were inching closer for a historic chase.

    With performances like these, Mitch Marsh will be an asset for Australia in the future whether he becomes captain or not. His service with ball and bat will always be imperative as he will win many matches singlehandedly.

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