Mitch Marsh
Mitch Marsh hopes to return to batting practice next week following his hamstring injury. Image by Linda Higginson/AAP PHOTOS
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Australia hope to have Marsh bowling for World Cup

Scott Bailey May 2, 2024

Australia hope to have skipper Mitch Marsh bowling for the start of the T20 World Cup, despite the allrounder ruling out any return to the Indian Premier League.

Marsh has been back in Australia for the best part of a month, after suffering a hamstring injury four games into Delhi’s IPL campaign.

The 32-year-old is still returning to fitness, and hopes to be back batting within the next week.

He will miss a camp in Brisbane next week as he continues his recovery, but officials hope he will be back bowling at another camp the week after.

Regardless, Australia’s medical staff are confident he will be back to full fitness by the time the team flies out for the Caribbean on May 25 ahead of their tournament opener against Oman on June 5.

 Marsh’s IPL campaign with Delhi Capitals was cut short by his injury. Image by AP PHOTO 

“The hammy is good. It’s pretty much exactly where we want it to be,” Marsh said.

“If we had to play tomorrow I would be in a bit of trouble. 

“But It’s still a couple of weeks away, the timing is perfect. Barring any setbacks I’ll be on the plane ready to go.”

If Marsh is not able to bowl, he would still play as a specialist batsman at No.3 with Marcus Stoinis or Cameron Green able to be pace-bowling allrounders.

Marsh said he had known for some time he would appointed as Australia’s captain for the World Cup, after leading in recent series against South Africa, West Indies and New Zealand.

A long-time skipper with Perth in the Big Bash League, the West Australian is still willing to lean closely on the likes of Pat Cummins and Matt Wade.

“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is to not change too much (individually while captaining),” he said. 

“Obviously, there’s a lot of preparation and planning that goes into a World Cup. And that’ll happen over the next month. 

“But once we get there, it’s keeping everything nice and relaxed and keeping the environment good.”

 Marsh’s international career renaissance saw him collect the Allan Border Medal in January. Image by Diego Fedele/AAP PHOTOS 

Marsh’s injury has seen him miss most of a record-breaking IPL season, where run-scoring records have been broken at will.

A whopping eight innings have had teams score beyond 250 runs, while the tournament run rate has sat at a record 9.64.

But Australian officials do not expect to see that trend to be automatically replicated in the Caribbean, with no impact-player rule allowing dismissed batsmen to be subbed out.

“The wickets have been phenomenal (in the IPL). They tend to be slightly smaller grounds,” chief selector George Bailey said. 

“There’s no doubt the impact player has a bearing on the freedom of teams over there to almost structure up each innings with an extra batter. 

“Generally in World Cups, particularly at the back end, things tend to tighten up a little bit. 

“But so much of that will depend on the surfaces we get in the West Indies.”