Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh impressed everyone by scoring a century in the fourth Test against England in the ongoing Ashes series. He was brought in the team at the expense of Peter Handscomb and the team management was criticized for the move.
Now it has come to light that Mitchell Marsh has chosen to play county cricket in a bid to cement his Test career, over playing in the IPL 2018. In 2016, Marsh was signed for $1 million (INR 4.8 crore) by Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL auction and was poised to go for even more in the upcoming IPL 2018 auction.
But Marsh junior has decided to play for Surrey during the off time, where he will be linking up with former Australian opener and batting coach Michael Di Venuto.
“It was a fairly big decision from a money point of view but my ultimate goal is to play Test match cricket for Australia," Marsh said in Sydney. "That's the lure of the IPL - the money and playing in India, but I made the decision based on my cricket.”
Marsh explained, "When I made that decision I didn't really think I was going to be back there this quickly. But I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to play 14 red-ball games over there - if I can, and try and improve. Looking forward we've got a lot of cricket coming up in England over the next few years and I want to give myself the best opportunity to be over there and get used to the conditions."
Di Venuto had helped Marsh during his struggle with swinging deliveries during the 2015 Ashes. "I certainly understood that [I needed to adapt better] when we went there for the Ashes a couple of years ago," Marsh said. "Playing in their conditions for a whole summer, I'll get flat wickets, I'll get wickets that seam and swing. hopefully I'll be able to come up with a gameplan to deal with that.”
Talking about his maiden century, Marsh said, “I said to him [Smith] as we were walking off that I was proud. Probably the biggest thing I was most happy about it is that 12 months ago with my mental side of my game I probably don't think I could have got through that. While I know it was the flattest wicket in cricket history, to apply myself for that long and not really care about scoring is something I've gained a lot of confidence from.”
Recently, the new MoUs signed between the Australian players and Australian cricket board had extra incentives for the players to miss the IPL and choose the country over the cash rich league.
“I've worked extremely hard over the last nine months to make sure I have a game that can adapt to all conditions," he said. "I realise I've only done that now in two Test innings and have a long way to go, but I've certainly gained a lot of confidence from the last few weeks."