Australia news May 3, 2013

Marsh declares Test match ambition

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Mitchell Marsh is adamant he has learned from his disciplinary troubles at the Centre of Excellence and the Champions League in South Africa last year, even if he remains equally sure they were "blown out of proportion".

Sent home from Cricket Australia's academy in Brisbane for turning up to training "in an unfit state" then one of several players dropped from the Perth Scorchers' team at the CLT20 after his 21st birthday celebrations slipped out of control, Marsh spent much of the summer pondering his priorities due to a serious hamstring injury. He returned with runs and wickets for the Warriors late in the season, and has now earned an ODI place with Australia in the Champions Trophy.

After returning home to Perth from the CoE in July, Marsh had been somewhat indignant about his treatment, saying he had worked extremely hard between his lapses. Ten months and a few more misadventures on from that episode, he retained a sense that the scrutiny of his behaviour had been excessive.

"Those things have happened and I learned from my mistakes," Marsh said from India. "Although I felt that both incidents were blown out of proportion I took them on the chin and took full responsibility for them. I haven't changed the way I am around people, I just need to make better decisions at the right times.

"The Australian cricket side sets extremely high standards. I really think over the last six months I've pulled my head in and started making good decisions. On the cricket side of things like any batsman or bowler my only currency is wickets and runs, so it's a matter of putting runs on the board and taking wickets."

So far, Marsh's combination of wayward behaviour and big hitting has made him seem a young man destined for a lucrative limited-overs career - his attempts at becoming a first-class batsman have so far reaped a meagre 915 runs at 21.27 in 25 matches. But amid the buzz of this year's IPL, Marsh said his ODI recall was merely a step on the road to the Test batting place he desires most.

"The biggest thing for me is I've always grown up wanting to play Test cricket. That's all I want to do, it's the hardest format and the pinnacle of our game," Marsh said. "So for me being in the IPL at such a young age was a bonus for international experience. Playing over here is great fun, but it's also good for my cricket.

"Although I've been more consistent in the shorter formats, they're a bonus for me and I'm hoping that over this winter I can improve again and become better at the longer format. Because if that's not my goal then I'm probably not in the right sport.

"Growing up I've always been a batsman and batted in the top five. With my bowling it's only really come up in the last couple of years. I've still got the goal that I want to be a top-order batsman and hopefully be able to do a job with the ball. But I've got a long way to go and a lot of hard work ahead."

The call to travel to England was a just reward for Marsh's most consistent format, as his 50-over efforts have outshone even the T20 hitting that has made him a valuable commodity well in advance of his maturation as a player of Test match capabilities. But he spoke earnestly of his intent to develop in the Sheffield Shield next summer, in concert with the Western Australia coach Justin Langer.

"Having started well in that format I took a lot of confidence into it and I guess that's carried over," he said. "In the four-day format … if I want to play the longer format for Australia I need to score more runs and be as consistent as I can, that's what challenges me the most. And coming in at such a young age I'm thankful for that, I've learned a lot and I feel that I'm making good gains.

"JL's been good not only for me but for West Australian cricket, so I'm really looking forward to working with him over the summer again. He's set clear boundaries for me, which was exactly what I needed and I know exactly where I stand."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • bobagorof on May 6, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    Ozcricketwriter: You say he has the temperament, but then go on to say he needs to improve his temperament? Pick one. He's a talented guy, no doubt, and perhaps with some maturity he may even be captaincy material. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. He has a lot of work to do to prove he's over the ill-discipline that he's shown so far (yeah, he's 21. He's also a professional entertainer). As you say, he also needs to put up some improved First-Class performances to be considered for the Test side.

  • on May 5, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    @Handyandy You neglect to mention his 36 wickets cost 25 a piece, his List A batting average is a tick under 40 with and bowling is around 24 runs a wicket.

    He's also 21 and had 3 injury interrupted seasons.

    As for everyone else. He is just stating he has test ambitions and doesn't want to be pigeonholed as a short form cricketer, isn't that what we want?

  • Thefakebook on May 5, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    He should be in the Ashes squad if Maxwell can wear the baggy green any one can make it now!

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 5, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    I said 2 years ago and I will repeat it. I think that Mitchell Marsh has the talent and the temperament to be Australia's next test captain. I don't see anyone else who is in the mix to take over from Michael Clarke. What the selectors should be doing is trying to expose him to the big time, like they did for Michael Clarke himself at the same time in his career. Give Mitch regular games in ODI and T20 cricket and let him know that he needs to improve his FC record significantly and to improve his temperament if he is to make it to the test team. It would be very bad if we gave him an easy ride to the test team but worse is if we go overboard with discipline and he never makes it in the first place.

  • Jayzuz on May 5, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    This is yet another article where the headline suggests something quite different from what the player has stated. Reminds me of the article where Warner was supposed to have told off the SA batsmen for complaining about some movements in the crowd or something. The headline suggested something aggressive but all Warner said "They should focus on the ball", and this of course caused outrage amongst those who don't bother to actually read what the player has stated (what else was Warner supposed to have said? Perfectly reasonable advice). Here Marsh has been asked about his future and says his ambition has always been to play test cricket. Anyone would think he is standing on a soapbox, beating his chest and demanding attention. People need to get a little more media savy. Much ado about nothing, yet again.

  • handyandy on May 5, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    Lets me see ... 36 wickets in 25 matches and a batting average of 21.

    With numbers like that he is lucky to hold down a spot in the state side.

    What is it with these Marshes ... loads of talent and sub - par performances.

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 4, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    He's from australia so he has a chance of playing for his national side. He wouldnt get into Bangladesh's team

  • Chris_P on May 4, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    @Peter Lewis. I thought you were referring ot Copeland, not Marsh. Read my first post near the start of my thread re:Marsh. Definitely worth consideration for the shorter form, but a very long way off test consideration. We probably have to agree to disagree re:MoHen. I have watched his development with NSW & definitely see the right signs for the future & his recent performaces are way ahead of Watson (first class figures). He had a solid first test, got a couple of great balls then run out for 0 by a very poor call by Wade. He showed far more ticker than Watson though (tests only).

  • on May 4, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    I'd like to state my ambition, for the record, that at some point in the future Australian selectors don't even need to flirt with the notion of selecting a guy who averages 21 in first class cricket. Geeeez we've got some batting depth woes in this country..

  • on May 4, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    @Meety 0.:17GMT - the article was about his prospects for test selection. ODI/T20 is a different matter.

    @Chris P 0:09GMT - Note that I referring to Watson's record in the past tense. He did deserve to be picked based on his record at the time of the selection. His current form is another matter. The point I was making is that Marsh's case for selection is very different to Watson's. Watson deserved to be picked several years ago because he had a record to back him up at the time.

  • bobagorof on May 6, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    Ozcricketwriter: You say he has the temperament, but then go on to say he needs to improve his temperament? Pick one. He's a talented guy, no doubt, and perhaps with some maturity he may even be captaincy material. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. He has a lot of work to do to prove he's over the ill-discipline that he's shown so far (yeah, he's 21. He's also a professional entertainer). As you say, he also needs to put up some improved First-Class performances to be considered for the Test side.

  • on May 5, 2013, 13:22 GMT

    @Handyandy You neglect to mention his 36 wickets cost 25 a piece, his List A batting average is a tick under 40 with and bowling is around 24 runs a wicket.

    He's also 21 and had 3 injury interrupted seasons.

    As for everyone else. He is just stating he has test ambitions and doesn't want to be pigeonholed as a short form cricketer, isn't that what we want?

  • Thefakebook on May 5, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    He should be in the Ashes squad if Maxwell can wear the baggy green any one can make it now!

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 5, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    I said 2 years ago and I will repeat it. I think that Mitchell Marsh has the talent and the temperament to be Australia's next test captain. I don't see anyone else who is in the mix to take over from Michael Clarke. What the selectors should be doing is trying to expose him to the big time, like they did for Michael Clarke himself at the same time in his career. Give Mitch regular games in ODI and T20 cricket and let him know that he needs to improve his FC record significantly and to improve his temperament if he is to make it to the test team. It would be very bad if we gave him an easy ride to the test team but worse is if we go overboard with discipline and he never makes it in the first place.

  • Jayzuz on May 5, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    This is yet another article where the headline suggests something quite different from what the player has stated. Reminds me of the article where Warner was supposed to have told off the SA batsmen for complaining about some movements in the crowd or something. The headline suggested something aggressive but all Warner said "They should focus on the ball", and this of course caused outrage amongst those who don't bother to actually read what the player has stated (what else was Warner supposed to have said? Perfectly reasonable advice). Here Marsh has been asked about his future and says his ambition has always been to play test cricket. Anyone would think he is standing on a soapbox, beating his chest and demanding attention. People need to get a little more media savy. Much ado about nothing, yet again.

  • handyandy on May 5, 2013, 2:27 GMT

    Lets me see ... 36 wickets in 25 matches and a batting average of 21.

    With numbers like that he is lucky to hold down a spot in the state side.

    What is it with these Marshes ... loads of talent and sub - par performances.

  • RednWhiteArmy on May 4, 2013, 12:07 GMT

    He's from australia so he has a chance of playing for his national side. He wouldnt get into Bangladesh's team

  • Chris_P on May 4, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    @Peter Lewis. I thought you were referring ot Copeland, not Marsh. Read my first post near the start of my thread re:Marsh. Definitely worth consideration for the shorter form, but a very long way off test consideration. We probably have to agree to disagree re:MoHen. I have watched his development with NSW & definitely see the right signs for the future & his recent performaces are way ahead of Watson (first class figures). He had a solid first test, got a couple of great balls then run out for 0 by a very poor call by Wade. He showed far more ticker than Watson though (tests only).

  • on May 4, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    I'd like to state my ambition, for the record, that at some point in the future Australian selectors don't even need to flirt with the notion of selecting a guy who averages 21 in first class cricket. Geeeez we've got some batting depth woes in this country..

  • on May 4, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    @Meety 0.:17GMT - the article was about his prospects for test selection. ODI/T20 is a different matter.

    @Chris P 0:09GMT - Note that I referring to Watson's record in the past tense. He did deserve to be picked based on his record at the time of the selection. His current form is another matter. The point I was making is that Marsh's case for selection is very different to Watson's. Watson deserved to be picked several years ago because he had a record to back him up at the time.

  • Ms.Cricket on May 4, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Look I would like to state my Test ambition too, but is that enough? Need to bat for hours and hours and take 3 or more wickets regularly.

  • Meety on May 4, 2013, 0:17 GMT

    @Peter Lewis - he shouldn't be mentioned for a Test spot, but he is worth an ODI/T20 place.

  • Chris_P on May 4, 2013, 0:09 GMT

    @Peter Lewis "Watson always had an excellent fc record? When initially selected, yes, I was his biggest supporter, but the past 3 seasons, he has averaged LESS than 30 with the bat & MORE than with the ball. Hardly someone who even deserves consideration let alone continued selection for the tests. He is, simply said, an excellent short form player. As for Copeland, 156 wickets in 41 matches is just a little more than 1.5/match with an economy rate of slightly over 2 is not too shabby. he is, btw, a tail-end batsman but performing better than Watson.

  • HatsforBats on May 3, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    @ Meety, I'm a fan of Copeland as you know but I think I'd still have Faulkner in, I just think his record is too good to ignore right now (I doubt he'll play immured there are a couple of injuries). Copeland is the better bat but Faulkner is much more incisive with the ball and unfortunately with the keeper at 7 we can't squeeze either in in front of Bird, Harris, Pattinson, or Siddle. There is the thought that we could play Cowan, Rogers, Clarke, Haddin, Copeland, Faulkner, Starc, Pattinson, Harris, Lyon, & Bird. That could work, right?

  • katandthat3 on May 3, 2013, 23:49 GMT

    Great to see him in the Champs squad. His stats in the shorter forms back that selection and great to see him strive to play tests for Australia. No doubt about the talent in both brothers and now they are finding out you need more than that to succeed at the highest level. They both know they have work to do but look forward to seeing them both in the Aussie side in ODI's and T20 over the next few seasons. I think if you can succeed in ODI that can prep you well for Tests (T20 on the other hand does not). During our strongest periods some of our best players used to graduate to tests via strong ODI performances (even Dean Jones said ODI can be harder than tests in some facets and he has averages to back that in both forms). T20 should be left on it's own. It can help players break form dips because you just go out and have a go (Voges and S Marsh went well after a strong BBL to help their 50 over cricket).

  • ygkd on May 3, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    I'm not inclined to agree totally about the scrutiny problem. Family connections can confer great advantage in rising through the ranks, getting you noticed. That unfortunately means column inches and fifteen-second electronic-media grabs touting you before your time (a bit like this article!) which, if you don't watch your step, could spill over into negative territory later. You've got to take the good with the bad. The alternative was anonymity and anonymity at the selection table gets a lot of young talent nowhere near such an article in the first place.

  • ygkd on May 3, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    One could easily point out that there's no room for a great big capital "I" in team. However, that cliche deserves to be put out to pasture, because there is room for individuality in cricket. There's a far more relevant thing to say and that's about Talent having two "Ts", with the finishing touch and most important of those being a thing called "Temperament". Temperament is the part of us that lets our bat and ball do the talking, lest one hears things like "Growing up I've always been a batsman and batted in the top five", to which should be the reply, "Mate, James Pattinson used to bat in the top order, but he knows, to get a gig in the big-time, he's got to take key wickets and lots of 'em. Otherwise, it just sounds like a case of yet another wannabe number six or seven jostling amongst the crowd. There's a huge gulf between limited-overs all-rounder and Test worthy".

  • on May 3, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    FC batting average of 21 and averages about 1.5 wickets per FC match - he needs to do more than pull his head in. He needs to score runs. Players like him, Maxwell, Henriques shouldn't even be discussed. Comparisons with Watson are unfair because Watson always had an excellent FC batting record worthy of consideration for test selection. He has disappointed but he deserved to be picked based on his record. Blokes like Marsh don't deserve to considered.

  • Chris_P on May 3, 2013, 15:01 GMT

    @Mitty2. Agree Faulkner is someone to watch as well, but a few things here with Copleland. a) he bowls many of his overs at the non seam/swing friendly SCG,& bowls very tightly b) he was one of our most impressive bowlers in Sri Lanka 2 seasons ago & reverse swung the bowl well there as well as bowling economically in the tests & c) he is showing in English county cricket he can bowl in other conditions as well. When Faulkner & others can duplicate this effort, you can be sure we will be talking them up just as much. He has, btw, a FC century scored against Tasmania, again, for all his talent, Faulker has still to nail one and let's not forget Copeland usually bats at 9, 10 or 11. Faulkner deserved his chance, but I wouldn't write off Copeland as an option either.

  • Mitty2 on May 3, 2013, 14:41 GMT

    I'm sick of this word 'talent' and 'potential' for that matter... Shane Watson has been said to have the most of it and look how he turned out. And yet, when he came into the test side his FC record was actually almost deserving of a spot - with a batting average of above 40. Marsh's is 21, if anything that would suggest his talent is minimal. Just look at Jordan silk, he's already proved more talent than marsh in three shield games and he doesn't even get a mention.

    Currently, both the marsh brothers are very mediocre in the longer format and if we are going to use them at all, they can just a play a few ODI's and 20/20's here and there. I doubt very much if Mitchell will ever warrant selection in the top 5 batsmen.

    @meety, I've noticed you've mentioned copeland a lot recently. His batting has really come along recently, but division 2 is incredibly mediocre so wouldn't be taking much from it. Not to mention Faulkner has a better FC batting and bowling average.

  • stickboy on May 3, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    talented but not the right temperament, doubt he will ever have it, considering his bro especially. i feel he will disappoint all those who have been forever boasting about this guy, but with maturity he should go alright in the Aus one day team.

  • mylife4cricket on May 3, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    This guy needs some calmness when he is at the crease because he gets the starts and throws it away and if he improves on that he will be a great prospect even as an all-rounder. Talking about new youngsters in Australia test cricket team,Faulkner is a good selection and Callum Ferguson needs to be given another chance

  • cmonaussiecmon on May 3, 2013, 12:11 GMT

    The reason his FC average is so low is because unlike the eastern states (who have so much talent knocking on the door) he is guaranteed a place in the WA team even when in bad form... And he was brought in at a very young age. I think he has matured greatly over the past few years and would love to see him in Aussie colours! Including the Aussie creams!!

  • Meety on May 3, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    @ooper_cut on (May 3, 2013, 11:30 GMT) - mate, he averages 40 in List A, with a S/Rate of 86 & with the ball a S/R of 28. That would suggest to most people that he has shown talent. The word "exceptional" is just semantics. @Pinarsh255 on (May 3, 2013, 11:37 GMT) - I think Faulkner is a bowling allrounder, with MMarsh being a batting allrounder, I really don't think they are really comparable.

  • landl47 on May 3, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    Chris_P has summed it up exactly. I would add that anyone who wants to play tests (and I applaud Marsh for making that his priority) had better not be thinking that what works in T20 or even 50-over games means anything. Scoring big runs against top-class bowlers with attacking fields is a different skill set from hitting out against bowlers aiming to contain with no close fielders. As a bowler, applying oressure, bowling to an attacking field and trying to take wickets has little to do with bowling to keep the runs down.

    Marsh is lucky in that he comes from a family which has the contacts to make sure he gets a chance. Now he has to pick up the ball and run with it. Good luck to him.

    @jonesy2: 'I wouldn't care if he was averaging 1 run in FC cricket he should be straight into the side'. I think I see a tiny flaw in your argument. Let's hope CA spots it too.

  • Meety on May 3, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    @Chris_P on (May 3, 2013, 10:04 GMT) - also note, our man Copeland is starting o run amok in the County (with the ball). 8 wickets & counting against Kent! I'd of picked him ahead of Faulkner, but have no problems wih Faulkner being n the squad.

  • Pinarsh255 on May 3, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Hopefully he doesn't become another Watson. Fine player Watto is, but I expect Marsh to be more injury free and more sure about his role and future in the team. He has got the gift of perfect seam position in bowling. Currently I would say Faulkner is temperamentally more sound.

  • ooper_cut on May 3, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    He has not shown any exceptional talent so far, wonder how he got his call for the CT ! Maybe non availability of a few members in the Aus 'A' team ?

  • wibblewibble on May 3, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    FC average of 21, fearsome form - why isn't this guy already in the test team?

  • Amith_S on May 3, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    He is behind Watson and Faulkner but a good talent

  • jonesy2 on May 3, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    I wouldn't care if he was averaging 1 run in FC cricket he should be straight into the side he is talent that the world simply can not take for granted other countries can only dream about having the talent of marsh

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 3, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Mitchell Marsh is the man most likely to take over from Michael Clarke as the next Australian test captain. Let's just hope that he gets enough exposure to the big time (ODIs/T20s) in the meantime and that he continues to perform at Sheffield Shield level.

  • jeauxx on May 3, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    I'd love to see Marsh in the Test side... but not for a while. His bowling is better than handy, but if he's going to be a Test player for Australia he'll have to fit himself in justifying himself as a #5 or #6 batting all-rounder. And he's going to have a hard time of it, with the likes of Smith and Maxwell vying for similar roles down the line. When M Marsh is batting 4 or 5 for WA and ending Shield seasons with an average of 40-50, then he'll he start to be worth a look in.

  • Chris_P on May 3, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Just let your performances do the talking, if you're up to it, they'll show through. I tend to take little to notice from talk about "want to doing this & that". Runs, wickets & sustained form is the only way you will get there.

  • Winsome on May 3, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    I'm inclined to agree with him about the scrutiny. He's been under the media microscope for years, excessively so for a kid.

  • on May 3, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    This guy led the Aus U-19 when he played to the title when he played.He was a great hitter as he displayed in the two t20s against SA when Amla was the Captain.He could be a future star if he wants.But a long way to go..

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  • on May 3, 2013, 9:01 GMT

    This guy led the Aus U-19 when he played to the title when he played.He was a great hitter as he displayed in the two t20s against SA when Amla was the Captain.He could be a future star if he wants.But a long way to go..

  • Winsome on May 3, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    I'm inclined to agree with him about the scrutiny. He's been under the media microscope for years, excessively so for a kid.

  • Chris_P on May 3, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Just let your performances do the talking, if you're up to it, they'll show through. I tend to take little to notice from talk about "want to doing this & that". Runs, wickets & sustained form is the only way you will get there.

  • jeauxx on May 3, 2013, 10:41 GMT

    I'd love to see Marsh in the Test side... but not for a while. His bowling is better than handy, but if he's going to be a Test player for Australia he'll have to fit himself in justifying himself as a #5 or #6 batting all-rounder. And he's going to have a hard time of it, with the likes of Smith and Maxwell vying for similar roles down the line. When M Marsh is batting 4 or 5 for WA and ending Shield seasons with an average of 40-50, then he'll he start to be worth a look in.

  • Ozcricketwriter on May 3, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Mitchell Marsh is the man most likely to take over from Michael Clarke as the next Australian test captain. Let's just hope that he gets enough exposure to the big time (ODIs/T20s) in the meantime and that he continues to perform at Sheffield Shield level.

  • jonesy2 on May 3, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    I wouldn't care if he was averaging 1 run in FC cricket he should be straight into the side he is talent that the world simply can not take for granted other countries can only dream about having the talent of marsh

  • Amith_S on May 3, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    He is behind Watson and Faulkner but a good talent

  • wibblewibble on May 3, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    FC average of 21, fearsome form - why isn't this guy already in the test team?

  • ooper_cut on May 3, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    He has not shown any exceptional talent so far, wonder how he got his call for the CT ! Maybe non availability of a few members in the Aus 'A' team ?

  • Pinarsh255 on May 3, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    Hopefully he doesn't become another Watson. Fine player Watto is, but I expect Marsh to be more injury free and more sure about his role and future in the team. He has got the gift of perfect seam position in bowling. Currently I would say Faulkner is temperamentally more sound.