Marsh: I can maintain pace and fitness


Mitchell Marsh believes he is ready to make the step up to the frontline of Australia's pace attack.

There have been long-standing concerns over Marsh's fitness, particularly in West Australia, but after a strong showing in the second Test against West Indies, taking 4-61, Marsh is confident he can consistently bowl at the 140km/h mark and stay fit.

"Over the last 18 months I've worked really hard with Craig McDermott (bowling coach) to try and get a few extra k's (an hour) on my bowling and certainly over the last few months I've felt like I'm just getting a bit faster and faster every game I play," Marsh told a news conference.

"It's nice to be bowling up there in the 140s, that's where I want to be ideally and hopefully I'll be able to maintain it from now on.

"Obviously the more I bowl the more I'm learning about my body and how far I can go. Hopefully I've set the tone now for the rest of the summer.

"For me, the biggest things over the last couple of years is I've just got stronger and touch wood I haven't had too many injury problems over the last 12 months -- bowling is more about rhythm.

"Billy (McDermott) is quite aggressive with me so I guess that's rubbing off on me but I think (aggression) is something that just comes naturally."

While Marsh is hitting his straps with the ball, he admitted he is itching to spend more time in the middle with the bat, after his services were only required for a short undefeated 18 in Australia's second innings of the Boxing Day Test.

"Any time you're sitting watching your teammates make hundreds, it's never a bad thing. I've certainly had a bit of pad rash the last couple of games but I play the game to enjoy team success," he said.

"Time in the middle is time in the middle. Hopefully I'll get an opportunity in the one-day team ... I've been really happy with my preparation for each game and I've gone in very confident with my batting."