Smith lauds patient Marsh

Australia

Australia skipper Steve Smith lauded the patience of Mitchell Marsh after the allrounder helped his team earn a draw in the fourth Ashes Test.

The match in Melbourne rather fizzled out with the pitch offering little for the bowlers but Marsh still needed to contend with a focused England attacked.

England strangled the runs but Marsh stuck it out making 29 off 166 balls a feat he conceded he would have been unable to achieve twelve months ago.

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Smith said in the post match press conference: “I’m really pleased with him, the way he played.

“Walking off today he actually said, ‘I’m proud of myself – 12 months ago I wouldn’t have been able to do that’.

“He’s come a long way.

“He’s had to change the way he normally plays, he’s normally quite aggressive and very positive.

“To face 160 [166] balls for his (29) was a really good effort.”

Marsh had stressed earlier in the Test that patience would be the key to saving the Test.

He said: “On a pitch like this, the game moves a lot slower.

“So as a batsman, you have to be prepared to bat for a long period of time and face a lot of balls to get your runs because the ball is not coming on as well, and there’s a lot of fielders in front of the wicket.”

Marsh has worked on his defensive game during his time away from the Test in a bid to eliminate the poor shots that often cost him his wicket after he had got a start.

The allrounder has done his case for a continued run in the XI no harm with this knock which comes after his big hundred in Perth.

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