Going back to knocks played alongside the banned Steve Smith is a source of positivity for Australian vice-captain Mitchell Marsh, who hopes to partner the former skipper a few more times once his suspension ends. Speaking ahead of the Test series against India which gets underway on Thursday, Marsh reminisced about his partnerships with Smith in the past, the most notable being his maiden Test century with the then captain at the other end.
Smith scored a double ton in that game against England in Perth last year. “I constantly go back to that and watch my innings,” the all-rounder said.
“I think it’s important for me to go back to that, I feel like I was batting really well last summer, I feel like I’m batting really well at the moment,” he added.
Speaking of his equation with Smith, who is serving a one-year ban for the ball-tampering scandal that forced a review of the Australian cricket team’s overall conduct, Marsh called him one of his “best mates”. The ban on Smith comes to an end in March next year.
“Smudger (Smith) became one of my best mates in cricket over the last couple of years. We certainly like batting together. He doesn’t give you much out in the middle,” he said.
“We just had that connection and some great partnerships I’ll always remember the rest of my life. I feel very lucky to have done that. Hopefully, we’ve got a few more in us in the future,” he hoped.
And what exactly makes batting with Smith so special for him? Marsh said the simplicity of his approach always stood out.
“When you’re batting at the other end with Steve Smith it takes your mind off the fact you’re out there. You can switch off and watch him do his work – pretty awesome to watch.
“We both don’t really communicate much out in the middle. Keep going, watch the ball, swing hard. That’s about it. It sounds stupid but that’s really all it is when you’re batting together,” he said.
(With PTI Inputs)