In a bid to strengthen his place in the Australian Test team, allrounder Mitchell Marsh has taken the ‘fairly big decision’ of skipping next year’s Indian Premier League. The burly Aussie will instead ply his trade in English county circuit, keeping an eye on Australia’s tour of England for next year’s Ashes.
The 26-year-old, Mitchell Marsh, who was signed for $1 million (INR. 4.8 crore) by Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL auction last year, will play for Sussex under former Australian batting coach Michael Di Venuto. Mitchell Marsh, who missed the last edition of the IPL also due to an injury, admitted that it was tough to ignore the lucrative league but had to take the big call to aid his emerging Test career.
“It was a fairly big decision from a money point of view but my ultimate goal is to play Test match cricket for Australia,” Marsh told reporters in Sydney on Monday (January 1). “That’s the lure of the IPL – the money and playing in India, but I made the decision based on my cricket. When I made that decision I didn’t really think I was going to be back there this quickly. But I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to play 14 red-ball games over there – if I can, and try and improve.
“Looking forward we’ve got a lot of cricket coming up in England over the next few years and I want to give myself the best opportunity to be over there and get used to the conditions,” he added. “I certainly understood that (I needed to adapt better) when we went there for the Ashes a couple of years ago. Paying in their conditions for a whole summer, I’ll get flat wickets, I’ll get wickets that seam and swing.”
After being in and out of the Test team, Mitchell Marsh was recalled for the ongoing Ashes, getting the call for the third Test in Perth. He grabbed the opportunity with both the hands, slamming his maiden Test century before following it up with a fighting knock of unbeaten 29 from 166 balls to help his side defy England on the final day of the Boxing Day Test and walk away with a draw.
Speaking about his effort at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, he said:
“I said to him (Australian captain Steven Smith) as we were walking off that I was proud. Probably the biggest thing I was most happy about is that 12 months ago with my mental side of my game I probably don’t think I could have got through that.”
“I think I’ve said it for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been a lot more relaxed with this preparation when I came back to the Test team,” he added. “I knew the game plan I’d have to go out there with and it was about sticking to that for as long as we needed to get the draw.”
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