‘Absolutely not’: Mitch Marsh rules out switch that ‘doesn’t make sense’ after career revival
Mitch Marsh has politely ruled himself out of contention to replace David Warner as Australia opener, saying it doesn’t make sense for him to abandon the No.6 position he loves so much.
Warner will retire at the end of the current three-match Test series against Pakistan, leaving a huge question mark as to how best to replace him.
If selectors opt for a like-for-like replacement, then Cameron Bancroft, Marcus Harris and Matt Renshaw are the leading candidates.
Other options include moving either Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne or Marsh to opener, which would allow Cameron Green to return to the side.
Marsh has been a revelation at No.6 since returning to the Test side during this year’s Ashes, and he showcased his value again on Friday by scoring 90 against Pakistan in Perth.
It lifted Australia to 487, with Pakistan to resume on day three at 2-132.
Marsh is in a happy place both on and off the field, and the 32-year-old doesn’t want to tempt fate by moving up to opener.
“Absolutely not,” Marsh said.
“I appreciate that there’s talk about it and eventually we’re going to need a new opener with Davey leaving.
“But I’ve worked really hard to get back in this side, and for me to look forward to having a role as an opener just doesn’t make sense to me.
“I love batting at number six and I guess in my last four Test matches I’ve really found my way and who I am as a Test cricketer.
“I’m loving it, so I’m reluctant to change that.” Marsh fell 10 runs short of his century in Perth when he attempted a big heave on the first ball after lunch on Friday and was bowled by Khurram Shahzad.
Although shattered to miss out on a century in front of family and friends, Marsh was content in the knowledge he was dismissed playing his way.
It was far different earlier in his career, when he tried to imitate the more patient styles of players around him.
“I’ve tried to play the long innings (in the past) and play like Steve Smith and Davey and Uzzie (Khawaja) and all those guys that can bat for six hours,” Marsh said.
“I guess I just wanted to come back into this Test team and be really true to myself.
“I’ve sort of found my method that works.
“I don’t necessarily have the technique of Smudge (Steve Smith) and Marnus (Labuschagne) where they can defend and leave and defend and leave for hours and sort of get through those periods.
“I know that when I show really good intent that I move better and I can defend good balls, but ultimately I can put pressure back onto other teams.
“And the beauty of batting at six is hopefully if we bat well, we get some tired bowlers to try to counter attack and keep the game moving forward.
“I’ve got a really clear role that allows me to be myself.”