Mitch Marsh accepts that his only way to advance to Test XI in Pakistan will be through injury or COVID-19 for a teammate, but he is still waiting for ‘one more crack’ at Test cricket.
In the meantime, the Western Australian has selflessly vowed to ‘do everything in my power to help Cameron Green become a great all-around Aussie’.
The improvement Green has shown this summer in his second season as a Test cricketer means the 22-year-old has effectively signed a long-term mortgage on the all-around role in Australia’s Test XI, a position that Marsh has regularly occupied, but never quite lived. up to its potential.
Green drove around the 140mph mark, took 13 wickets at 15.76 and scored two fifty in his 228 runs while averaging 32.57 with the bat in the Ashes against England, and showed he still had plenty of room for improvement.
Those are impressive numbers for a man who has completed just nine Tests in his career, and already exceed Marsh’s Test record of his 32 appearances at Baggy Green since his debut against Pakistan in Dubai in October 2014.
That’s why Marsh joked that if his Testing career resumed he would ‘probably need Cameron Green to fall off the face of the earth’, before adding that he thought he could still play at the highest level as a hitter only.
“I still see there’s definitely an opportunity for me to have one more crack, probably more as a drummer now,” Marsh said on WACA’s SEN ahead of a practice session as he prepares for the Pakistan tour.
“For me to come back to the current test squad, it’s really only through injury or COVID at the moment with the Pakistan tour.
“But going forward, whatever opportunities I get in red ball cricket and play Shield cricket for WA, just make sure I keep scoring and whatever the format, be as consistent as possible.
“Guys like Usman Khawaja, even Moises Henriques – they’re 34, 35, but they’re still pushing for selection, and that’s a big motivation for guys like me. I’m only 30 and there’s had a lot of guys who just started playing for Australia (at that age) and had great careers.
“So I certainly hope I get another opportunity at Test level.
“I’ve worked really hard to prepare well and enjoy the game for what it is and that’s really helped me over the last 12 months. So I’m going to keep doing that. And hopefully the opportunity will present itself at some point.”
The star of Australia’s T20 World Cup victory last November, Marsh has established himself in Australia’s first-choice T20 squad for the past 12 months and was conspicuously absent in the ongoing Dettol T20I series against Sri Lanka.
His absence was long overdue at the request of national coach George Bailey, aware that with WA’s tough border, Marsh was one of a handful of players who had barely returned since the middle of last year when he joined the West Indies and Bangladesh tours which saw it. take the No. 3 spot on the T20 side.
“It’s always weird when you talk about resting from the streak (because as a player you always want to play, but I think COVID has changed that,” Marsh said.
“I’ve just cemented my place in the white ball teams for Australia so it was a little weird resting at the start (of this series) but now that I’m home and now the boys have won the series 3 -0 is much better and I use my time wisely at home to refresh myself.
“Living in a bubble can be very difficult at times, so it was really nice to be home. Personally, I’ve been living in the COVID bubble for six or seven months and I still have four or five months on the road now.
“So this little week and a half was seen as a little break to freshen up and spend some time at home seeing my family and freshening up.
“I was very grateful, it was really nice and I hope the preparation at home this week and next will put me in good stead for Pakistan.”
Qantas Tour of Pakistan 2022
Pakistani team: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood
Australia team: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc , Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner. Standby: Sean Abbott, Brendan Doggett, NIC Maddinson, Matthew Renshaw
March 4-8: First try, Rawalpindi
March 12-16: Second try, Karachi
March 21-25: Third try, Lahore
March 29: First ODI, Rawalpindi
March, 31st: Second ODI, Rawalpindi
April 2: Third ODI, Rawalpindi
April 5: Only T20I, Rawalpindi
All matches will be shown in Australia on Fox Cricket and Kayo Sports