Mitch Marsh firming as a Flintoff- like all- rounder
ALASTAIR Cook predicted the new Andrew Flintoff would stand up this Ashes series. The England captain was talking about Ben Stokes.
But he might as well have been forecasting the emergence of Australian all- rounder Mitchell Marsh.
Doubts over Marsh’s abilities as a Test standard fast bowler are quickly evaporating this tour, as he starred with the ball at Lord’s and followed up with a dominant four- wicket effort in the drawn tour match against Derbyshire.
Marsh ( left) stormed into the action with 3- 9 in 19 balls at one point, as the locals fell to be all out for 259, before Australian captain Michael Clarke closed out the three- day match with a solid 44 not out that gave him some much- needed time in the middle.
Fawad Ahmed took 3- 68 and Peter Siddle, Pat Cummins and Shane Watson a wicket each, but it was Marsh who made the difference.
There is a lot of Flintoff in Marsh and therefore, a lot for Australian cricket to be excited about. Flintoff was the difference in the unforgettable 2005 Ashes series, with his all- round skill and larger- than- life personality too much for the Australians to handle.
Like Freddy, Marsh has that ability to change a game in a session.
With the bat he is an explosive striker, and it’s only a matter of time until he plays a monster innings for Australia.
And in replacing Shane Watson – seemingly permanently – Marsh’s biggest impact has been the extra velocity with the ball. He also shares Flintoff’s infectious personality and natural leadership tendencies.
The only amber light is the similarities of their bodies, and Australia will be keeping their fingers crossed that Marsh can rid himself of the injury problems that ended Flintoff’s career.
Bowling upwards of 140km/ h, Marsh has upped the intensity of the Australian attack.