Mitchell Marsh has emerged as a potential key man for Australia in their quest to claim a first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
Australia will be looking to fill the one empty spot in their trophy cabinet this October-November but may have to do so without star batter Steve Smith.
Currently recovering from an elbow injury, Smith has flagged the possibility he will not be fit in time for the showpiece event.
In Smith’s absence in the West Indies, Marsh has been batting at No.3 for Australia’s T20I side and has enjoyed unprecedented success in the format.
Marsh’s form had been among the few positives for Australia as they lost the first three T20Is against West Indies and on Wednesday (local) he produced a Player of the Match performance as the tourists won a thriller in the fourth match of the campaign.
Marsh posted career bests with bat (75 off 44) and ball (3/24) to become the third Australian to score a half-century and take three wickets in a T20I match, following in the footsteps of Shane Watson and Glenn Maxwell.
It was Marsh’s third half-century of the series, having gone into the campaign without a 50+ score to his name in T20I cricket. He believes the form is down to both his preparation and experience.
Career-best with the bat 🏏 75 off 44— ICC (@ICC) July 15, 2021
Career-best with the ball ☝️ 3/24 off 4.0
Player of the Match Mitchell Marsh was at the heart of @CricketAus’ victory over West Indies.https://t.co/zCt5xIblV3 | #WIvAUS pic.twitter.com/5VJLSVt7qy
“I certainly feel pretty calm at the moment,” he said after the match. “I’m 29 now, I’ve had a lot of experiences – both good and bad – in international cricket.
“I came into this tour really well prepared. Had a great break. Feeling in great physical shape and mentally feeling really good.
“I’m not really thinking about too much at all. I’m just enjoying being back, playing cricket again, playing cricket for Australia and that is literally as simple as it is for me.”
While Marsh is enjoying himself at No.3, he says his main focus is fulfilling whatever role the team requires of him.
“I know it sounds clichéd but that’s all I’m doing. I’m trying to do that to the best of my ability and help Australia win games of cricket.”
That willingness to adapt could be key if Smith returns in time for Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign.
Either way you look at it, Marsh’s form is a serious boost to their title ambitions.
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