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I had to stay true to myself - Marsh after fighting 96

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Last updated on 28 Dec 2023 | 01:46 PM
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I had to stay true to myself - Marsh after fighting 96

Assured in his stroke-making and fluid with his foot movement, Marsh scored 96, forging a 153-run partnership with Smith to put Pakistan in a spot of bother

After taking a 54-run lead in the first innings of the Melbourne Test, Australia found themselves in a pole position, but things suddenly went south after an inspiring spell from Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mir Hamza. The duo reduced the hosts to 16/4, but Mitchell Marsh joined hands with Steven Smith to arrest the collapse.

While Smith was tentative in his approach, Marsh played a knock that defined his new avatar quite well. Assured in his stroke-making and fluid with his foot movement, Marsh scored 96, forging a 153-run partnership with Smith to put Pakistan in a spot of bother. 

"Firstly, there's a lot of voices inside your head at 4-16. It just comes back to being true to myself and being really clear on my role within this team and knowing how I play my best," Marsh said in Melbourne.

"I guess it was a big moment for me personally to, in that moment, just have a little think about how I wanted to go about it. I've said that on record, so I guess I had to stay true to myself.

"I felt like it was really hard work. The ball was swinging around, Shaheen had his tail up and we know that he's world-class. I guess it was a matter of trying to get through but also making sure I put the bad balls away. I was able to do that."

Marsh was put down by Abdullah Shafique at first slip on 20 and that proved too costly for Pakistan as he went on to add another 76 runs. In July, Joe Root put him down on 18 and he went on to score 118 in Headingly to script an incredible comeback. Even though he couldn’t get a century this time, there was a history to look back to.

"Shaun got run out for 99 (in the 2014 Boxing Day Test), and Dad got 86 here (in 1991), so Shaun's technically got me," he said. "I guess a bit of history for us. Hopefully, I get one more crack at it."

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