Marsh ready to bowl with new ball

“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 of two of Australia’s key pacers.

Mitchell Marsh makes an unsucessful appeal during the Australians’ tour game against India A at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday.   -  Photo: AFP

Mitchell Marsh is expected to be a vital cog in Australia’s first-choice XI during the forthcoming Test series in India considering his expertise with the reverse-swing and the ability to bat with the tail. The all-rounder has now thrown 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 of 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 are handed a rank turner by any of the Indian curators. The strip for the warm-up game at the Brabourne Stadium has a tinge of 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 and 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.”

Iyer rates Aussie spinners higher than Bangladesh’s

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 Bangladesh spinners he faced in Hyderabad.

“I think they (Australians) are way better than them. For 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.”