Embracing the moment key for Marsh

Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh has said that his conscious decision to embrace the pressure helped him earn his team a draw in Melbourne.

Marsh said that while his nerves were still there he was able to stick to his game plan and guts out a 166 ball 29 not out.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney Marsh said: “I did embrace it.

“There’s always nerves, I was very nervous.

“I felt like I was going to get out any ball in the first 20 balls, which can happen on those sorts of wickets when it’s reversing.

“And then I felt really confident in my game plan once I got in that I’d be able to do the job.

“I said it a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been a lot more relaxed in this preparation, coming back into the Test team.

“So I knew the sort of game plan I was going to have to go out there with and for me it was about sticking to that for three hours or as long as I needed to do to make sure we got the draw.”

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Marsh credits an increase in maturity with helping him cope with his return to Test cricket at the WACA earlier in the Ashes.

He added: “I’ve always been excited about playing Test match cricket, but stress levels rise when you’re not performing.

“Maybe it’s an age thing, but I felt like I was in really good form when I came into the team this summer and I’m really enjoying it at the moment.

“Probably the thing I was most happy about (after the draw in Melbourne) was that 12 months ago, from the mental side of my game, I don’t think I would have got through that.

“Whilst I know that it was the flattest wicket in cricket history, to be able to apply myself for that long and not really worry about scoring was something that I’ve gained a lot of confidence from.

“I’ve worked extremely hard over the last nine months to make sure i have a game that can adapt to all conditions.

“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.”