Western Australia skipper Mitchell Marsh, who on Wednesday struck a stunning ton in the first game of the 2021/22 Marsh Cup season, revealed that he mirrored his preparation from the last two tours, which according to him was merely practicing hitting sixes.
Batting at No.3 for WA against South Australia, Marsh stitched a 217-run stand with Josh Philippe and struck three sixes en route a match-winning 111. The 29-year-old, who opted to not feature in the Indian Premier League, continued his fine form, and his clean striking helped his side register a 78-run victory in the first game.
"I've just tried to mirror my preparation from the last tour, and that was solely a Twenty20 focus," Marsh said after today's one-day win in Adelaide.
"To be brutally honest, I've just practiced hitting sixes and that's all I really did before I went away (to the Caribbean) and it seemed to work for me.
"I'll keep doing that, and I guess when I eventually play some red-ball cricket that will have to change but I'm just enjoying training hard and preparing for games so nothing will change too much."
Western Australia are scheduled to play their first Sheffield Shield game of the season in two days’ time at the Karen Rolton Oval, but Marsh confirmed that he will, for the time being, continue to opt out of red-ball games to ensure that his sole focus is on white-ball cricket, with the T20 World Cup beckoning.
"This is white-ball cricket and fairly similar, and obviously I want to be playing as much cricket for Western Australia as I can but I'm representing Australia in a World Cup and it's a huge tournament.
"So I want to be in my best form going into that,” Marsh said, confirming that he will be sitting out the Shield fixtures.
The 29-year-old was a part of the Australian side that lost 8 of its 10 T20I fixtures against West Indies and Bangladesh not so long ago, but the all-rounder emerged from the tours as one of the shining lights.
Marsh, predominantly batting at No.3, across the two tours struck 375 runs at an average of 37.50 and elevated his game to the next level, proving to be the Kangaroos’ best batter in what turned out to be a forgettable couple of months.
With Steve Smith returning to the setup for the T20WC, whether Marsh will retain the No.3 slot remains to be seen, but the right-hander insisted that he’s eager to make an impact regardless of where he bats.
"I'm hopeful to be up there (in the top-order), but we've got so many good players," he said .
"I mean Steve Smith has held that role for a fair while now and he's a fair player that guy.
"Whatever role I get, whether it's batting at number three or floating through that middle-order like we do with all those guys in there, I'm going to be really clear on my role and do it to the best of my ability and hopefully help Australia win games of cricket."