Australia's Mitchell Marsh plays the pull shot.
Australia's Mitchell Marsh plays the pull shot. Rajanish Kakade

Marsh learning to ignore social media trolls

CRICKET: Perpetually on-trial all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has taken measures to block out an army of online ghouls baying for his blood, as he prepares to again face the music in Bangalore.

Marsh has inherited the reams of social media abuse from predecessor Shane Watson and admits the sometimes-brutal and over-the-top criticism of his baggy green credentials has previously gotten into his head.

Dumped from the Test side in early November, Marsh took sanctuary in the enormous pressure valve that was released by heading back to the Big Bash League and his brief exile has brought about a more concerted effort to block out outside negativities.

Marsh is still hunting the landmark innings that would cement him as a Test player, but a fighting 31 from 76 balls on a turning second-innings minefield in Pune has given hope that this could be the tour that finally makes him.

The Marsh brothers are an eternal source of fascination to a cricketing public that struggles to fathom the staunch faith the Australian hierarchy has in their abilities and the continued opportunities they're afforded.

Neither Mitchell nor Shaun made it past the first Test of the home summer, yet the brothers have been locked in as Australia's key middle-order linchpins for their Indian odyssey.


Australia's Mitchell Marsh bats during a practice match against India A in Mumbai.
Australia's Mitchell Marsh bats during a practice match against India A in Mumbai. Rajanish Kakade

Their presence could ultimately prove the difference in this series, and if Australia can record a historic triumph, salvation may be theirs.

The online universe likes to paint the Marsh brothers as a cricketing myth, but Australia's all-rounder - with all the potential and natural talent in the world - isn't listening.

"Sometimes it's nice to get out of the spotlight," Marsh said.

"I was obviously under a lot of pressure for a while so in a way it was nice to get back to play with the Scorchers, and here I am.

"I try not to look too much into it (his reputation on social media).

"I wouldn't have too much confidence if I read all the comments on Facebook.

"That's part and parcel of playing cricket for Australia at the top level.

"People are always entitled to their opinion, that's fine by me. It doesn't stress me out.

"I used to read a lot of it then I had 10 innings where I didn't get over 20 ... I didn't have much to read so I stopped reading it."

Marsh has had an extra bow of responsibility added to his portfolio in India, with the 25-year-old set for his first stint at babysitting for older brother Shaun's young son, Austin.


Australia's Shaun Marsh bats on the first day of the first Test against India in Pune.
Australia's Shaun Marsh bats on the first day of the first Test against India in Pune. Rajanish Kakade

Although uncle duties haven't quite extended to nappy changes.

The Marshes are two brothers eight years apart in age and with differing personalities, but they stick together on tour and feed off each other.

Selectors liked the way Mitchell batted in Sri Lanka last year - scoring a 50 - and have worked hard with him on taking soft hands to his batting in India, rather than the big stick he is used to.

Marsh admits he's learnt to bat "boring".

"It's a big part of playing well over here and it's something all our batsmen have worked on. I think against a turning ball if you can back your defence rather than attacking the ball, things will be much better.

"I've certainly worked hard on my defence and hopefully it's solid.

"It's just about adapting. In these conditions you've got to earn the right to attack and that's by having a solid defence and that's what I've been working on."

News Corp Australia

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