Dubai camp helped us to draw Test: Marsh
Shaun Marsh says a pre-tour training camp in Dubai helped he and Peter Handscomb conjure the mindset they needed to draw the third Test against India.
The genesis of Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb's game-saving partnership during the third Test came in Dubai last month.
Marsh and Handscomb spearheaded a successful stonewall from Australia on day five in Ranchi, sharing a partnership that lasted almost four hours.
Marsh, who divides opinions like few others, silenced doubters with a 197-ball knock of 53 that showed why he was picked ahead of Usman Khawaja. Handscomb, in his seventh Test, faced 200 deliveries and finished 72 not out.
Batting time hasn't been an Australian strong suit in recent years, which have been littered with embarrassing collapses overseas. It was one of many scenarios the Test squad worked on during a pre-tour training camp in the United Arab Emirates.
"It definitely helped. We obviously had a great couple of weeks over there to get us ready for these conditions," Marsh said of the Dubai camp.
"It certainly helped out there today, knowing what we've done in the past.
"Our preparation has given the guys a lot of confidence to go out there and play the game."
The visitors were widely expected to crumble in Ranchi, where Ravindra Jadeja was tipped to spin India to victory.
Coach Darren Lehmann acknowledged after day four the left-arm spinner would be a handful, particularly for Australia's left-handers who had to negotiate a potent patch of rough outside off stump.
Jadeja grabbed nine wickets in the match, including the second-innings scalp of Marsh, but was unable to force a collapse as the top-ranked Test side grew increasingly impatient and frustrated.
"It was tough," Marsh said of the thorough examination. "He's a quality bowler and I thought he bowled fantastically well.
"We didn't try and think about the end result too much, just about playing each ball on its merits and I thought we did that really well together."
Skipper Steve Smith was "very proud" of both Marsh and Handscomb, tipping the pair would draw a lot of confidence from the defiant stand as they prepare to shift to Dharamsala for the series decider that starts on Saturday.
"His 72 not out is worth 150 in my eyes," Smith said of Handscomb.
"We've been talking about being resilient and sticking out the tough times. The way Petey and Shaun did that was absolutely magnificent.
"It's great signs for us that everyone is contributing. Everyone is in good form."
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