Marsh: Debut was a ‘tough initiation’

Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh says his debut in Dubai was ‘good fun’ and he learned a lot from it, despise the game ending in defeat to Pakistan.

Marsh was more impressive with bat than ball, statistically, but thought he did a good holding job when bowling his medium pace. With the bat, he scored 27 in the first innings, staying in the middle for a while in tough conditions.

The 23-year-old said: “It was a tough initiation but it was good fun. The cricket itself was a big step-up. But I’ve been told by a lot of people that the biggest thing about Test cricket is more just the outside pressures than the pressure of the actual match.

“The intensity of that was a big step-up but I really enjoyed that challenge. It wasn’t a great start to have a loss but we have a chance to bounce back.

“I would have liked a few more runs and a few more wickets. I felt comfortable. It was nice to get off the mark. That was the big thing I wanted to do.

“With the ball I did my role. I held up an end while the main bowlers were doing their job. But I’m looking forward, if I play the next game, it’s going to be a great challenge.”

While Marsh didn’t take any wickets, he wasn’t overly expensive either, and felt the learning curve on such a different track was a valuable one, and he took a lot away from the game.

He said: “That was probably the biggest challenge, just trying to get a bit of natural variation, using the crease, all those sorts of things.

“For someone who has always bowled on the WACA, it’s just great learning to be able to do that. Hopefully as a bowling group we’ll be better next Test and take a few more wickets.

“On these sorts of wickets it’s all about using the crease and natural variation, slower ball, working on different things like that, the eyelines of the batsmen and letting the bowlers use the crease.

“It’s always in the back of your mind to make just a subtle change. That’s the big thing.”

Marsh was handed his cap by his father, former Oz batsman Geoff Marsh, who had also handed Shaun Marsh, Mitchell’s elder brother, his cap. He said of the experience: “That was pretty special. I’ll never forget that moment.

“Dad was a little bit less nervous this time after doing it for Shaun. It’s a pretty special memory and also to have my mum and my girlfriend and my sister and her fiance out on the ground with me, for Cricket Australia to be able to organise that.

“It was something they’ll never forget too. It was a really special day.”