Mitchell Marsh believes for the first time in his career that he can compete with the greatest in the world. And the change is palpable after ten years of international cricket.
Marsh’s first international match since helping Australia win the T20 World Cup last year will be against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Tuesday.
Since then, he has been unable to play international cricket due to border closures and an injury sustained in Pakistan, despite playing in the BBL and IPL. But he is certain that he is no longer the player who forced his way back into Australia’s white-ball teams by playing vital roles in under-strength national sides before to last year’s T20 World Cup.
“As I’ve gotten older and acquired more experience, I’ve started to realize what works for me in terms of preparation,” Marsh, who is based in Colombo, said. “International cricket is extremely difficult, but you must believe in yourself to be a part of it.
“Over the last year, I’ve come to believe that my best can compete with any player on the planet.
“That mentality, I believe, is shared by all of the world’s finest players. That mindset permits me to go out and play without restriction. Being there during games and in the lead-up to each game and tour. It’s allowed me to enjoy the most consistent year of cricket I’ve ever had.”
Marsh attributes his international resurgence to his ability to be consistent in his role, which has seen him start at No. 3 in T20 cricket and walk in during the powerplay. In the one-day game, though, the West Australian’s position is less obvious.
Marsh has appeared in 10 of the country’s 19 One-Day Internationals since losing out on the 2019 World Cup. In Australia’s most recent One-Day Internationals against the West Indies in June, he batted at No. 3 and No. 4, however he was part of a depleted lineup.
Marsh’s recent form indicates that he will almost probably play in Australia’s five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka, now that the team is near to full strength.
Theoretically, it should provide him with his first opportunity to qualify for next year’s ODI World Cup in India, which will be held under identical conditions.
“When I reflect back on the last 12 months, 18 months seems like a long time,” Marsh remarked. “There’s no doubt that as a professional athlete, you aim towards and want to be a part of the World Cups that are coming up.
“The feeling [from those]…is certainly the incentive, having been a part of the T20 World Cup and a brief part of the 2015 World Cup victory.
“It’s not about getting or keeping my spot…about it’s making sure I’m there if we’re in a position to win another World Cup for Australia and enjoy that feeling again.”