JLT Sheffield Shield 2017-18
Wickets have Marsh ready for Proteas
Allrounder feeling confident after a strong bowling display against New South Wales at the WACA Ground
11 February 2018, 07:32 AM AEST
Mitch Marsh's bat shone after he was a surprise call up for the final three Ashes Tests but the Western Australia captain will head to South Africa in good bowling form too after his team's JLT Sheffield Shield win against NSW.
Marsh's bowling had been limited early in the summer following shoulder surgery but even still, he was called up for the last three Magellan Ashes Tests against England and starred with the bat.
He hit two centuries including a career best of 181 in Perth, but his bowling showed signs of rust after the long lay-off and he didn't pick up a wicket in three Tests.
He didn't have a great game with the bat against the Blues in WA's four-wicket Shield win at the WACA Ground this week, making scores of eight and 14.
But he bowed well with the Dukes ball and finished with figures of 4-84 for the match from 26 overs, including the first four wickets of the match.
Given the confidence he already had with the bat from the Ashes, the wickets mean Marsh is feeling good ahead as he prepares to depart for South Africa this week.
"It's good for my confidence that's for sure," Marsh said.
"I've been building for most of the season with my bowling and playing Test cricket with the big four that we've got, I don't necessarily have to bowl a lot of overs.
"But it's nice to know that I am capable of getting through 26 overs. I thought my pace has been up the last couple of weeks which has been really good and I'm happy with the way it's coming out."
The win against the Blues puts WA right in the mix to reach the Shield final but there's a lot to play out with four games remaining.
There's a fair turnover in the personnel too and while those four WA players heading for South Africa - Marsh, brother Shaun, Cameron Bancroft and Jhye Richardson - will be missed, at least Ashton Agar, D'Arcy Short and Marcus Stoinis are among the players to come back in from T20 international duty.
Marsh is confident the team can continue to perform under the captaincy of Ashton Turner in his absence.
"I love playing for Western Australia and JL (coach Justin Langer) challenged us four for this game to make sure we were up and about," Marsh said.
Qantas tour of South Africa
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match v SA Invitational XI, Sahara Park, Benoni, Feb 22-24
First Test Kingsmead, Durban, March 1-5
Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3