Australia v India Tests

Marsh hails Jadeja as 'toughest' bowler

Allrounder Mitchell Marsh recalls the challenges of the India Test tour but now sets his sights on domestic glory with Western Australia

Cricket Network

25 October 2017, 07:07 AM

Mitch Marsh relishing the Warriors captaincy

Mitch Marsh has faced no shortage of elite bowling talent in his six years on the international scene but the Western Australia captain believes the most challenging spells he came up against were on the subcontinent earlier this year.

Marsh made 48 runs in two Tests against India, scoring 4, 31, 0 and 13, before heading home with a shoulder injury that ultimately required a reconstruction.

And it was on that tour that the right-hander came face to face with spin whiz Ravindra Jadeja, who he says is the bowler he has found most difficult to come to grips with in his international career to date.

"Jadeja in Indian conditions was seriously challenging," Marsh told "The wickets up there, the turning wickets and he lands the ball in the same spot, and bowls fast, off-spin into the wicket.

Jadeja and Wade clash on heated day three

"That was probably the most challenging spells of bowling that I've ever faced."

The sorcery of Jadeja hasn't been felt by Marsh alone; the left-arm orthodox spinner has collected 155 wickets in 32 Tests at 23.60, and is ranked second on the ICC Test bowling rankings.

Against the Australians this year, he took 25 wickets in four Tests, one better than his 24 in his only other series against the men in Baggy Green, a four-Test showdown won 4-0 by India in 2013.

Marsh also called out South Africa pace pair Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn as other outstanding bowlers he has come across.

"Kagiso Rabada is a young talent, it's a shame he's so young – we've got to face him for the next 10 years," he said, with a wry smile.

"He's a real challenge and someone that's going to take world cricket by surprise."

Rabada makes his point heard with celebration

Asked who he most enjoyed watching bowl, Marsh didn't hesitate to nominate Proteas legend Steyn, who has been out of action since last summer but owns a record that compares well with the best quicks there have been: 85 Tests, 417 wickets at 22.30, with a strike-rate of 41.4.

"Without a doubt Dale Steyn over the last couple of years," he said. "It's a shame that he's had a few injuries now and he's getting a bit old, but I just love everything about him: his run up, his action, his competitiveness.

"And the fact that I got to know him off the field a little bit just through playing against him and stuff, and he was a true gentleman and a really nice guy, so he's great to see."

Marsh of course, is on his own journey back from injury, with this week's Sheffield Shield clash against Tasmania his first first-class match since the India tour.

Despite not yet bowling, the signs with the batting were positive for the 26-year-old in the JLT One-Day Cup, as he finished eighth on the run-scorers list (338 runs in six innings for just twice dismissed) and struck a magnificent 80 not out to steer his side to victory in Sunday's final.

Magnificent Marsh leads WA to title with 80no

"My goal is right now just to make sure Western Australia are winning games of cricket and obviously personally I want to be scoring as many runs as I can to help them win," he said.

"I'm not bowling at the moment which is a bit frustrating but a shoulder reconstruction is one of those things you just can't rush.

"I'm doing everything I can to get back and hopefully I'll be bowling at the Big Bash and but right now the only thing on my mind is to make sure Western Australia is winning."