Ashes trump card Mitch Marsh adds pace

Mitch Marsh continues to crank up his pace and reap the rewards, with the allrounder primed to fire in the third Ashes Test.

Marsh starred with the ball on Saturday, snaring four wickets as Australia’s three-day clash with Derbyshire ended in a predictable draw.

He struck twice in his first over, slicing through the middle order in a burst of 3-9 in 19 deliveries.

Marsh, introduced as first change in Derby, feels close to achieving his stated goal of bowling around 140 km/h consistently.

“It’s about doing that consistently at the highest level,” Marsh said.

“I’ve worked really hard on that with (bowling coach) Craig McDermott.

“We sat down after the World Cup and said a few things and changed a few things in my bowling.

“It’s nice to see them coming along but I understand that I’ve got to keep working hard if I want to keep improving and be a genuine allrounder.”

Marsh’s power hitting and form with the bat ushered him into Australia’s Test XI at the expense of Shane Watson.

His greatest input into the 405-run win at Lord’s was with the ball, including crucial first-innings wickets of Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes.

Marsh will again be a key player when the third Test starts at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old feels capable of being an attacking bowler but knows he must shelve the all-out aggression as Australia seek to go 2-1 up in the five-Test series.

“Hopefully I can keep chipping in with a few wickets,” he said.

“The one thing I have learnt is that it’s not really my role in the team (to attack), when you’ve got guys like Mitchell Johnson, Starcy (Mitchell Starc) and Josh Hazlewood bowling at the other end.”

Marsh, who has a history of hamstring problems, opted to sit out this year’s Indian Premier League to focus on his form and fitness.

The move has paid big dividends, with Marsh well placed to nail down his spot in the side.

“I feel really confident in my body and hopefully it can hold up for the remainder of the series,” he said.

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