Sydney: All-rounder Mitchell Marsh says the new-look Australia team that will begin the summer under new Test captain Steve Smith, is keen to forge its own legend now that a quorum of established greats have taken the final walk from the playing field into history.
While the XI that takes to the Gabba in the season's opening Test against New Zealand in 10 days will contain many familiar names, it will also be a standard-bearer for the post-Michael Clarke era.
Clarke departed in the wake of this year's Ashes loss, as have opener Chris Rogers, wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, seamer Ryan Harris and all-rounder Shane Watson. As the player tipped to have first chance of securing Watson's berth now that he has chosen to focus on the game's shorter forms, Marsh carries the dual workload of having to provide much-needed batting and bowling expertise on top of a heavy burden of expectation.
When asked if the upcoming three-Test series against the highly fancied Black Caps represented a fresh start or simply a necessary evolutionary step in the ongoing change of professional sport, Marsh told cricket.com.au: "I think it's a bit of both really.
"Obviously there's some new faces around the squad and that's exciting not only for us as a team but also for the Australian public who come and watch us. I think as a young group we've got an opportunity to start something special and hopefully this summer is the start of that."
The 24-year-old continued: "I'm very excited about the group that we're going to have. We're going into this series very positive, it's nice to be playing back in Australia again and every team that comes here knows they're in for a good challenge playing in our conditions," he said.