The man who remoulded Mitchell Marsh's technique has given a ringing endorsement to the all-rounder's game, declaring he is a better batsman than he was during his Ashes heroics.
Marsh's dominant performance last summer against England was seen by some to be the making of him in the Test arena, but 12 months on he has not established himself as the player Australian cricket needs him to be.
Ups and downs: Mitchell Marsh’s form has dropped off markedly since his starring role in the Ashes last summer.Credit:AP
Marsh was appointed vice-captain in September but endured a wretched tour of the UAE, where he made just 30 runs from four innings.
That followed a moderate campaign in South Africa, where he started brightly with an agenda-setting 96 against Kagiso Rabada and co. only to fade as the series progressed.
"If you ask me do I think he's better than last summer, I do. Have the results shown that yet? No they haven't, but I think they will in time," Marsh's mentor, former Western Australia batsman Scott Meuleman, told Fairfax Media.
"I think he'll have a very good summer."
Though his output in the baggy green has stagnated, Marsh has peeled off some big tons against India A and Pakistan A, which prompted coach and selector Justin Langer to declare him a "hundred maker".
Worryingly for Marsh, Pakistan identified a weakness in his defence and seamer Mohammad Abbas dismissed him leg before wicket three times.
Marsh has worked closely with Meuleman since returning home from the Middle East, the pair "tinkering" with his stance to address this deficiency.
Meuleman noted that Marsh needed to get his head forward "10 to 15 centimetres" when he played the ball, which would get him into a better position to play the delivery zeroing in on his front pad.
Meuleman said all batsmen naturally had their head moving towards the off side but the best players, like India's Virat Kohli, had their head "dead level".
I've still got that great confidence I had last year in myself. Hopefully I'll be able to get a few runs.
"If you drop the ball from your eyes or your nose straight down you're trying to get it to hit the big toe," Meuleman said.
"If you get into that position his head won't be over [towards off stump].
"We're trying, when he steps, to get his head into a more positive position, especially for the ones straight. We've worked to keep his eyes level."
Meuleman urged Marsh to be "brave" against India's spin wizard Ravi Ashwin by putting into play what they have practised against slow bowling.
"Sometimes you can go into your shell a little bit," Meuleman said.
"It doesn't mean dancing down the wicket and hitting it out of the ground, it means getting down and hitting the ball into a gap and getting one. It's about using your feet and being positive.
"He's worked a lot on sweeping, but I've hardly seen him play a sweep at all. There's things he's worked on a lot which no one has seen yet. I think in time they'll come out, definitely.
"The irony of it is, he had done a lot of work to get his spin a bit better and ended up getting out to the pace bowling [in the UAE]."
Marsh said he has watched his knocks from last summer to remind him how well he was batting. Despite his struggles since, he said he is still in a positive frame of mind.
"I think it's important for me to go back to that," Marsh, who made 151 two Shield games ago but has since failed to reach 50, said. "I feel like I was batting really well last summer. I feel like I'm batting really well at the moment. I've still got that great confidence I had last year in myself. Hopefully I'll be able to get a few runs."
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