Marsh: 'Ready to bowl with the new ball'

Mitchell Marsh, who's taken up the new ball duty in the warm-up game in absence of Australia's key pacers, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, said he's ready to do the same in the forthcoming Test series.

Mitch Marsh opened the bowling against India 'A'.   -  AFP

Mitchell Marsh is expected to be vital for Australia during the forthcoming Test series in India considering his abilities to reverse-swing and to bat with the tail. The all-rounder threw his hat in the ring for the new-ball bowler's slot, should Australia opt to go into a Test with three spinners.

"Yes, I've done it in the past, not for Australia, but I've taken the new ball for Western Australia and for Australia in white-ball cricket, so I'm certainly comfortable with that," said Marsh, who opened the bowling against India 'A' in the absence two of Australia's key pacers. "I practice with the new ball every now and then, so if that opportunity arises, I'll be ready."

The likelihood of Marsh being asked to open the bowling would arise only if Australia is handed a rank turner by any of the Indian curators. The strip for the warm-up game at the Brabourne Stadium has a tinge grass, which is unlikely to be on offer during the series. Marsh admitted the Australians realised that.

"I would imagine the Test wicket would be nothing like that wicket, but we'll wait and see. We spoke to the umpires and they said all first-class games here, it nibbles around a bit for half an hour and then it flattens down," he said. "That's exactly what happened. I thought there was a little bit of turn for our spinners, which is nice."


Shreyas Iyer is on a roll. The Mumbai batsman followed up on his scintillating hundred in a tour game against Bangladesh earlier this month with an unbeaten 85 against the Australians. The stylish batsman rated Nathan Lyon and Stephen O'Keefe higher than the Bangladeshi spinners he faced in Hyderabad.

"I think they (Australians) are way better than them. Bangladesh, I could predict what ball they could bowl. And here, there's also a bit of sledging that keeps happening (from) behind and that also keeps playing on your mind," he said.

When asked to elaborate on the quality of Australian spinners, Iyer said: "I think they are really good, especially Lyon because he was bowling a little faster through the air and it was really amazing playing international players for the first time. In domestic, they (spinners) give a bit of flight. Over here, I was barely getting any flighted delivery. I had to step out and convert them into big shots."

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