Craig McDermott helps fire Mitchell Marsh`s brotherly ambition
Mitchell Marsh believes working with former Australia fast bowler Craig McDermott has boosted his chances of forging a Test career and playing international cricket alongside older brother Shaun.
The Marshes -- the sons of former Australia opener Geoff -- have appeared in a combined 19 Tests.
But in only one of those matches -- against India at Brisbane in December last year -- have both West Australians been in the same side.
Hamstring trouble at the Gabba interrupted five-times capped 23-year-old all-rounder Mitchell`s progress, while 32-year-old opening batsman Shaun has found himself the understudy to fellow left-handers Chris Rogers and David Warner at the top of Australia`s order.
Mitchell Marsh got an opportunity to revive his Test career when, after fellow all-rounder Shane Watson was dropped following a poor display in Australia`s 169-run defeat by England in the Ashes opener in Cardiff, he was called up for last week`s second Test at Lord`s.
Belying his bowling designation of `medium pace`, Mitchell seized his chance to shine with two for 23, including the key wickets of England captain Alastair Cook and all-rounder Ben Stokes, in the first innings of a match Australia eventually won by a mammoth 405 runs to level the five-match Ashes series at 1-1.
And on Saturday, with the frontline bowlers all rested, Mitchell led Australia`s attack with four for 41 in the drawn tour match against Derbyshire -- an impressive way to warm-up for next week`s third Test at Edgbaston."Craig McDermott and I sat down after the World Cup and changed a few things in my bowling" said Mitchell, when asked about his increased pace and threat with the ball.
"It`s nice to see them coming along now but I`ve got to keep working hard if I want to keep improving and be a genuine all-rounder."
Mitchell added Australia bowling coach McDermott had influenced him greatly.
"He has been awesome for me, just to learn off him."
And Marsh insisted his body wasn`t betraying him, especially now he realised his role was to support out-and-out fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
"My body`s feeling really good. Hopefully it can hold up for the remainder of the series," he said.
"I think I`ve always been an attacking bowler, although I haven`t always had the pace.
"But I think probably the one thing I have learnt is that it`s not really my role in the team when you`ve got guys like Mitchell Johnson, Starcy and Josh Hazlewood bowling at the other end."
Shaun Marsh, meanwhile, has been in superb for with two hundreds in three innings this trip -- including 101 retired out against Derbyshire.
Should Rogers, who made a Test-best 173 in the first innings at Lord`s not recover in time from the balance problems that cut short his second innings, Shaun Marsh is set to take his place.
It was a similar scenario that saw Shaun play in both Tests during Australia`s recent 2-0 win in the Caribbean after Rogers was ruled out with a concussion suffered while batting in the nets.
Whatever happens this series, Shaun Marsh may not have a long wait to resume his Test career given Rogers said before the tour started he would retire after the Ashes.
Asked if he had ever seen Shaun bat this well, Mitchell replied: "Probably not, to be honest.
"I don`t know what`s changed, but he`s just doing it consistently at the moment and it`s great to see him pushing for selection.
"I`m sure, if he gets a chance hopefully he`ll get a good run at it."
As for following the path taken by Australia`s Chappell brothers and the Waugh twins, by repeatedly playing international cricket alongside his sibling, Mitchell Marsh said: "It would be very special. It`s something we both have worked really hard towards.
"It`s not every day that you get an opportunity to play Test match cricket with your brother; hopefully, I can last a little bit longer this time."