Clarke in awe of Marsh talent

Captain Michael Clarke has all but confirmed all-rounder Mitchell Marsh will debut, come Australia’s first Test match against Pakistan, which will get underway at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.

Marsh has almost recovered from the hamstring injury that prevented participation in the ODI series against the same opposition earlier this month – played relatively free of discomfort during last week’s tour match against Pakistan A.

“Assuming he’s fit, Mitch is a big chance of earning his Test debut against Pakistan this week. Should that happen, you just know he’ll be the kind of guy to treasure the baggy green. He has an extremely bright future,” Clarke said in a column for News Ltd.

“He has been exposed to overseas conditions, players and theories about the game from a young age. He has obviously got plenty of talent, he might just be the cleanest hitter of the ball for a bloke who can also bowl 130 kilometres per hour that I’ve seen, but his understanding of the game is well beyond his years.”

The 23-year-old Marsh’s prowess with the bat was particularly telling during August and September’s triangular ODI series against Zimbabwe and South Africa at the Harare Sports Club. He orchestrated a fine 86 against the tournament hosts and later smashed a cavalier 89 not out versus the Proteas.

“When he is batting, he is not one of those guys running around without a plan. He is thinking about how to construct an innings. I also love how much he cares about the team,” added Clarke.

“If Mitch has a game in which he doesn’t get among the runs or wickets, he always goes out of his way to congratulate those that have. He doesn’t get lost in his own little world. He is all about the team.”