The all-rounder Mitchell Marsh is very aware that he is polarizing Australian cricket fans. He hopes, however, that giving up his mother's roast meal as part of a new fitness regime could help her gain her respect.
LONDON: All-rounder Mitchell Marsh is well aware that he's polarizing Australian cricket fans, but hopes that giving up his mother's dinner as part of a new fitness regime could help earn her respect.
Marsh celebrated his callback to the side for the first time since the Boxing Day test against India with a 4: 35 win when Australia turned the screws on Thursday in the fifth and final Ashes test in the oval against England.
The hosts were embarrassed on the first day with 271-8 after Jos Buttler's unbeaten 64 had saved their innings.
After being in the leadership of the team last year before being released and losing his main contract, Marsh admitted that his seesaw had made it hard for home fans to warm to him.
"Yes, most of Australia hate me," Marsh said before laughing.
"Australians are very passionate, they love their cricket, they want people to do it well.
"There's no doubt that I've had a lot of chances at the test level and have not quite made it yet," added Marsh, who scored an average of 25.39 with the bat and 43.91 from his 31 previous tests with the ball.
"But hopefully they can respect me for coming back and I love playing for Australia, I love the baggy green cap and I'll keep trying and hopefully I'll win it over a day."
The 27-year-old said there were times when he lost his main contract and doubted he would be back on the Australian side.
Personal problems had also affected him last year, including the suicide of a close friend, while also lacking his fitness and strength. Coach Justin Langer had asked him to work on it.
"For the last six months, I've put everything in and changed my lifestyle a bit," he said.
"I do not eat bad, I just eat a lot, my body just likes to eat and my mom likes to feed me.
"I have not had so many roasts at home in the last six months, but it was not that hard.
"There was no secret recipe, I just scraped my ass off and hoped to get another opportunity."
Australia kept the ashes with victory in the fourth Test at Old Trafford and led the series 2-1.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington, editorial by Ian Ransom)