A drop down the batting order to No.
8 hasn’t unsettled the confidence of young Australian allrounder Mitch Marsh.
The bright talent bats at No.6 in Test cricket and is viewed as a key plank in the world champion one-day side, but was in front of only the fast bowlers Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pat Cummins in Thursday’s series-opening ODI win over England.
With Australia suffering a middle-order collapse, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was promoted to No.7 ahead of Marsh, and proceeded to compile his most assured ODI innings – hitting an unbeaten 71 to drive the total up to 6-305.
At the other end for most of it, though, was Marsh.
The pair put on 112 for the seventh wicket, an Australian record against England.
The 23-year-old Marsh, who finished 40 not out off 34 balls, said selectors opted for Wade higher up the order because they were looking for more consistency from that slot – but he insisted it wasn’t a message that his batting needs an overhaul.
“No I don’t think so – I’m really comfortable where my batting is at,” said Marsh, who averaged 12 with the bat across three Tests during a difficult Ashes series.
“I know when I’ve had opportunities at the top of the order for Australia I’ve been able to score runs.
“So for me it’s not about me batting higher because I know if I get the opportunity, hopefully I’ll be able to do that for the team.
“If batting at eight (is my role) then I’ll do everything I can to make sure I’m batting well when I get the opportunity.”
Meanwhile, Marsh opened up about the support Shane Watson has provided to him since losing his Test spot to the young allrounder during the Ashes.
Watson was dumped by selectors following Australia’s Ashes-opening defeat in Cardiff in July, replaced by Marsh at Lord’s and has seemingly fallen behind the young West Australian as the team’s first-choice allrounder.
Despite that, there’s been no animosity amongst the playing group, Marsh insists, with Watson providing valuable support as a mentor and a teammate.
“Watto has been unbelievable,” Marsh said.
“It was obviously a tough decision for the selectors to make after the first Test, but his attitude towards the whole team has been unbelievable, even more so for me.
“It’s never easy (when you replace a teammate) and it’s always a bit awkward at the start but he’s been great, really approachable from my end as a youngster going up to him.”