A smiling Mitch Marsh is waiting to catch Geoff Lawson in person after the former Test quick took another swipe at Australia’s incumbent allrounder.
Lawson, who played 46 Tests, believes the selectors should have the guts to end Marsh’s career at just 27 years of age.
He has come off his long run a couple of times since the UAE tour against Pakistan and went again this week ahead of the first Test against India.
“Mitchell Marsh has had his opportunity. He’s averaging 26 over 30 odd Test matches, he’s hardly bowling at all,” Lawson told Fox Sports.
“He’s not providing the all-rounder values. There is no way I’m playing Mitch Marsh.”
FULL STORY: Lawson’s brutal reality check
Underneath Marsh’s very modern response that he can only focus on himself was a sly suggestion that he is keen to prove Lawson wrong this summer.
“Hi Geoff, how are ya?” Marsh deadpanned.
“Look, his comments are his comments, that’s his opinion.
“All I can focus on is preparing well for this Test match and preparing well for the summer, doing my best and that’s all I can do.
“People can say what they’re going to say but I’m looking forward to seeing him.”
Marsh is desperate to take his bowling to the next level and become the genuine allrounder that Australia craves, one capable of busting a game open with bat and ball.
He shapes as one of the most powerful figures in Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood’s bid to play all four Tests against India, starting with the series opener in Adelaide on Thursday.
If Marsh is able to deliver a couple of decent spells it will help ensure the frontline quicks aren’t worked into the ground.
If Marsh is able to produce a big score it will also ensure the pacemen have a decent rest between India’s innings.
The much-maligned allrounder struggled against Pakistan but has pointed to the previous home summer, when he scored two Test tons against England, as a source of confidence.
“After the UAE there’s no doubt that there were a few questions marks over me,” he said.
“But the last couple of weeks for WA have felt really good.”
Marsh scored 151 in a Sheffield Shield match against Queensland last month.
The 27-year-old, who in the early stages of his Test career kept his spot in the XI by bowling over 140 km/h and picking up key wickets, hasn’t delivered more than 20 overs in a Test since 2016.
Ryan Harris, speaking on radio station SEN, suggested Marsh should be able to deliver 10-15 overs per innings.
A shoulder reconstruction in 2017 and ankle surgery earlier this year haven’t helped Marsh’s cause but he’s declared himself fully fit and ready to let rip.
“I got some good overs under my belt the last couple of weeks for WA,” Marsh told reporters.
“I really want to take my bowling to the next level … to start chipping in with the ball and get a few more wickets.
“I love coming on in the graveyard shift, 70 to 80 overs when the ball’s doing nothing, and trying to sneak in a wicket.”
MARSH’S WORKLOAD DROPOFF
*29 wickets at 37.27 from 19 Tests. Delivered an average 16.4 overs per match (2014-2016)
*6 wickets at 67.5 from 11 Tests. Delivered an average 9.9 overs per match (2017-2018)