Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh believes skipping the upcoming IPL 2018 after signing up to playing County cricket for Sussex which will be beneficial and enhance his Test career.
Speaking to reporters in Sydney, Marsh said: “It was a fairly big decision from a money point of view but my ultimate goal is to play Test match cricket for Australia. That’s the lure of the IPL – the money and playing in India, but I made the decision based on my cricket.”
“When I made that decision I didn’t really think I was going to be back there this quickly. But I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to play 14 red-ball games over there – if I can, and try and improve.”
“Looking forward we’ve got a lot of cricket coming up in England over the next few years and I want to give myself the best opportunity to be over there and get used to the conditions,” he added. “I certainly understood that (I needed to adapt better) when we went there for the Ashes a couple of years ago. Paying in their conditions for a whole summer, I’ll get flat wickets, I’ll get wickets that seam and swing.”
The 26-year-old all-rounder was signed by Rising Pune Supergiant for $1 million (INR. 4.8 crore) in the IPL Auction 2017 and was part of the side that reached the final of the 10th edition of the tournament. He has also previously played in the IPL for Deccan Chargers and Pune Warriors. Marsh admitted it was a tough decision but hoped playing more long-form cricket would aid his emerging Test career with Australia to tour the UK for an Ashes campaign in 2019.
Since his comeback to the Test side, he scored his maiden Test century in the ongoing Ashes and an unbeaten 166-ball 29 to help Australia draw the Boxing Day Test.
Marsh will feature for Australia in the final Ashes Test at Sydney and then will look to continue his good form in the five-match ODI series against England and T20I tri-series before Australia travel to South Africa for their next Test assignment.
Marsh, an innately powerful batsman, said he was proud of his stonewalling effort. “I said to him (Australian captain Steven Smith) as we were walking off that I was proud,” he said. “Probably the biggest thing I was most happy about is that 12 months ago with my mental side of my game I probably don’t think I could have got through that.
“I think I’ve said it for a couple of weeks now, I’ve been a lot more relaxed with this preparation when I came back to the Test team,” he added. “I knew the game plan I’d have to go out there with and it was about sticking to that for as long as we needed to get the draw.”
It is always difficult to take a call between white ball and red ball cricket. Considering his recent form and his explosive ability, Marsh will certainly have gone for a lot of money in the upcoming IPL Auction. But his decision to play county cricket means that his priorities are set and that he has his eyes on sealing a permanent spot in the Australia Test side.