Marsh`s mentor says staying fit is biggest challenge

Melbourne: Australian batsman Shaun Marsh`s mentor Tom Moody, who helped him battle alcoholism early in his career, says the cricketer`s biggest challenge now is to fight through the nagging injury problems that are hampering his rise.

Marsh, who returned to the Australian team for the opening Test against India after battling a back problem, was out for a duck on the first day on Monday.

Moody, a former Australian all-rounder, had counseled Marsh into giving up the bottle to save his promising career and now that the 28-year-old has recovered from alcoholism, he has the new challenge of keeping himself fit enough for regular cricket.

"I don`t think the issue is him playing consistent cricket; it`s about the consistency of him staying on the park," Moody told a leading daily.

"That`s his greatest challenge. It`s a tricky one for Shaun because he`s clearly fit and as much an athlete as any other member in that squad, but he`s got an issue with his lower back.”

"Without being a physio, I don`t know but I imagine there`s got to be some sort of relationship between that and the hamstring injuries he`s had over the last couple of years," Moody added.

Moody said one way of improving fitness is to play as much cricket as possible so that Marsh`s body adapts to the rigours.

"The challenge he has is getting opportunities on the park regularly to show his consistency with the willow in his hand. Once he is injury free, I don`t have any doubt whatsoever that he won`t look back with regards to his form in the middle," he explained.

Talking about Marsh`s progress so far, Moody said, "I don`t know whether he was slack or whether he just lacked direction."

"He was probably as fit as anyone else in the (West Australia) squad but the attention to detail wasn`t there, which is clearly something that has changed in his whole preparation.”

"Now he would move heaven and earth to do what he needs to do to get back out onto the park," he added.


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