TELFORD VICE, Cape Town
OFFICIALLY Mitchell Marsh is part of Australia’s one-day squad in SA. Unofficially he is on a reconnaissance mission.
“It’s going to be a big build-up to the Australian summer,” allrounder Marsh said in Johannesburg on Thursday. “But first things first – we’ll try to win this series and then move on to the test series.”
SA will play Ireland in an ODI in Benoni on Sunday.
On Tuesday the Aussies and the Irish will clash in another.
Then SA and Australia will contest five matches in the format.
Only after all that will they get down to the real thing: a test series, starting in Perth on November 3.
Marsh’s experience against SA has been limited to 10 ODIs and four T20s but he doesn’t feel that should get in the way of his 19th test cap becoming his first against the Proteas.
“We play against these guys so much now and we’ve got plans against them; it’s just about executing on the day,” he said.
“Over the past few years we’ve built up a great rivalry with the South African team and it’s going to be an interesting series.”
Marsh last bowled a ball in anger during Australia’s test series in Sri Lanka in August, and he is looking forward to being back in harness on pitches that should give him something to smile about.
“It will be nice to see the ball bouncing above waist height,” he said.
Which of the SA batsmen’s wickets might Marsh prize?
“All of them.”
Fighting talk. Already.