Mitch Marsh has come a long way: Smith

Dec 30, 2017 - 8:12 AM Mitch Marsh continues to provide evidence he could be Australia's long-term answer at No.6, having taken his batting to another level since undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this year.

Marsh blasted his maiden Test ton after being recalled at the WACA, scoring 181 off 236 balls to help Australia claim an unassailable 3-0 lead in the Ashes series.

The allrounder was far more restrained on day five of the fourth Test at the MCG, managing 29 runs from 166 deliveries as the hosts held on for a draw.

The pitch was docile but there would have been a lot of nerves in Australia's dressing room when lunch was called on Saturday following the dismissal of Mitch's older brother.

Australia were 4-178 at that point, leading by 14 runs, with England a couple of wickets away from exposing the tail to the second new ball.

Mitch Marsh's composure in the following two sessions left a major impression on skipper Steve Smith.

"I'm really pleased with him, the way he played today," Smith said.

"He had to change the way he normally plays. He's normally quite aggressive and very positive.

"Walking off today he actually said 'I'm proud of myself, 12 months ago I wouldn't have been able to do that'.

"He's come a long way."

Marsh is yet to hit his straps with the ball but feels ready to step up should Ashton Agar play the fifth Test in Sydney.

Marsh sent down 12 overs for figures of 0-42 in Melbourne, while he bowled a total of 12 overs for match figures of 0-57 in Perth.

Marsh had only resumed bowling in the Sheffield Shield weeks earlier, having undergone a shoulder reconstruction in March.

"I'm feeling OK, bowling-wise," Marsh told reporters.

"This is obviously a difficult wicket to judge it on, as someone who doesn't bowl 150km/h.

"But I'm feeling good, the body's feeling really great."

Coach Darren Lehmann had put the heat on Marsh to back up his eye-catching performance in Perth, saying "one innings doesn't make a cricket career" and describing his bowling as a "bit disappointing".

Source: AAP

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