Mitchell Marsh has said it would be “unbelievable” to play for Australia alongside his brother Shaun, after being named in the Twenty20 squad to take on South Africa next month. Marsh, 19, was one of three uncapped players chosen in Australia’s 14-man group for the two T20s in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and if he makes his debut it could well be in a side featuring Shaun at the top of the order.
They would be the second set of brothers to play in the same Twenty20 side for Australia, after Michael and David Hussey. It has been a big month for the Marsh family, with Mitchell’s call-up coming after Shaun made a hundred on his Test debut in Sri Lanka, and less than a week after their father Geoff was named Sri Lanka’s new head coach.
“It’s an amazing feeling for me,” Marsh told ESPNcricinfo of his T20 promotion. “I was really shocked but I think I’m ready. I’m just looking forward to going over there and hopefully taking my opportunities. It’s a cliché, but it will be a dream come true [to play alongside Shaun]. Hopefully I can get over there and get a game with Shaun – it would be unbelievable.”
A promising allrounder, Marsh, 19, has been on a steady path to the Australian side since he captained the country’s Under-19 World Cup-winning team in New Zealand in 2010. Last year, his new state coach Mickey Arthur said Marsh had the potential to be a Jacques Kallis-like allrounder, batting in the top five and acting as the fourth seamer in a side.
Last summer, his first under Arthur’s tutelage, Marsh scored his maiden first-class hundred and picked up seven Ryobi Cup wickets. He then headed to India for the IPL, where he played four matches for the Pune Warriors and collected 4 for 25 in a Man-of-the-Match performance against the Deccan Chargers.
“I think I’ve improved a lot over the last 12 months,” he said. “The mental side of my game has improved a lot with Mickey. He gives me a lot of confidence in myself. Hopefully I can take that out there in this first-class season and also in South Africa.”
Marsh impressed the selectors with his efforts on the recent Australia A tour of Zimbabwe, where he performed strongly in the one-dayers against Zimbabwe and South Africa A. In his four appearances, Marsh made 23, 41, 72 and 5, and collected six wickets, including a match-winning 4 for 56 in the final against the South Africans.
“To be around guys like Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus from a bowling perspective, learning about their recovery and how they go about preparing for games, that was something that really helped me in Zimbabwe,” Marsh said. “The professionalism of the group was unbelievable. I think I got a lot out of that and hopefully I can take it forward.”