Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has revealed that he will not bowl until the latter stages of the upcoming tri-series against India and England.
Marsh’s comments come after he injured his hamstring during the second Test against India in Brisbane.
“The plan is for me to be available for selection for the Hobart game but obviously I have got a few things to get past first,” he said. “At this stage I will be playing the first few games as a batter while I build my workloads up and go from there. Hopefully if it all goes to plan, I can start playing as an all-rounder at the back half of this series.
“Over the last 12 months I have got my body to a stage where I feel comfortable and strong going out to play. I have gained great confidence in my body that has given me the ability to go out there and play with freedom and that’s what the Australian team is all about.
“This is a minor setback for me, and if we didn’t have the World Cup I probably wouldn’t be out for this long. We all had our eye on the big picture and the hammy’s feeling great. The last six months has given me great confidence, and hopefully I can keep building.”
Marsh attributed his inclusion in Australia’s World Cup squad to the fact that he shelved his plans of becoming a Twenty20 specialist and instead chose to represent Australia A in their home series against India A.
“I didn’t go to the IPL and I really wanted to go to England last year to play some four-day cricket because that’s really the most challenging format for me,” Marsh said. “I didn’t go but that was really a point in time where I had some time off and got stuck into the gym. I started off really well in the A series and that’s where it started to happen for me. Last year I really made that decision to concentrate on my goal of playing Test cricket.
“I had a few things I needed to work on technically and mentally as a young player, and I certainly think I’m learning every day with those sorts of things. My batting mentor and coach is Tom Moody and he’s someone who’s been unbelievable for me not only as a cricketer but as a person as well. I’ve learned so much off him the last 18 months and he’s been massive for me.”
Marsh also noted that by representing Australia in the ODI tri-series against South Africa and Zimbabwe in August-September, he further honed his skills as an all-rounder.
“That Zimbabwe trip gave me a lot of confidence. It was a bit of a breakout tour for me and has given me great hunger to stay around this group, it was a turning point for me,” Marsh said. “I did have a bit of a taste and I did enjoy batting up there, but I think this one-day team’s pretty settled with our top order and I’m happy to slot in anywhere.”
Marsh also knows that competition within the Australian team will be fierce during the World Cup, especially since he has to compete against Shane Watson, James Faulkner and Glenn Maxwell for the all-rounder spot.
“There probably is [competition for spots], there’s no beating around the bush there, but I think the balance in this squad with so many all-rounders gives us great depth and if we get an opportunity we’ll all be putting our hands up,” Marsh said. “If you’re making enough runs or taking wickets you’re going to be picked anyway, but my bowling hopefully adds something to our team.
“It’s something I really need to focus on and hopefully I can play a role as a batter and a bowler in this team.”