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Australia coach Andrew McDonald backs captain Mitchell Marsh

News Agencies | Updated on: 7 May 2024, 15:14 IST
Mitchell Marsh

Melbourne [Australia]: Australia coach Andrew McDonald backed captain Mitchell Marsh to recover fully before the T20 World Cup 2024.

The 32-year-old Australian all-rounder won't be able to bowl until the final week before the Australian team departs for the Caribbean Due to a hamstring rupture, Marsh was ruled out of the IPL early last month.

When he returned from India, the healing process had taken far longer than anticipated. Before the squad departs for the Caribbean on May 25, Marsh joined a group of Australia's players who are not playing in the IPL for the first of two three-day pre-tournament training camps in Brisbane over the following two weeks.

Originally, due to his hamstring injury, Marsh was not expected to attend the first camp. But during the past few days, his recuperation has allowed him to play and bat in the nets.

McDonald stated that Marsh's bowling fitness would only be at its peak nearer the competition.

"You probably won't see him bowl in the next couple of weeks here. It'll probably happen the week before we leave. And then he'll be able to ramp that up when we're over there. We'll be able to cherry-pick the moments during the tournament where he'll be useful with the ball. We've got some all-round depth in the squad, which gives us good coverage anyway," McDonald told reporters at Allan Border Field on Tuesday as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

"[His recovery was] probably a little slower than expected on the back of the hamstring. But we've got plenty of time now that he has been ruled out the IPL. The first game is just short of a month away now. So ample time for him to get ready. But really positive to see the skipper on the park," Australia coach added.

Given that Australia will play a few practice matches prior to their opening match against Oman, McDonald said there was no reason to be concerned about Marsh's lack of match practice during the previous two months.

"No real concern about match fitness. We've got a couple of practice games when we get to Trinidad in the support period. So he'll likely get plenty of match opportunities. And if not, we'll be able to simulate those through practice, which our coaching staff are pretty good at," McDonald said.

McDonald stated that Australia would probably bring one travelling reserve, but they haven't decided which kind of player they'll need to cover the team's fifteen players.

"We've got some decisions to make. We've seen some international sides have up to four reserves. That'll be something that [chair of selectors] George Bailey will get us together around in the next couple of weeks and we'll put the final touches on that squad. We will take a reserve at this stage, and it looks like one reserve," McDonald said.


First published: 7 May 2024, 13:36 IST