Mitchell Marsh’s Bowling Fitness for T20 World Cup: Coach McDonald’s Optimism

Australia’s skipper Mitchell Marsh faces a fitness challenge ahead of the T20 World Cup. Coach Andrew McDonald shares insights into Marsh’s recovery and readiness for the tournament’s opening game.

In response to criticism that the selectors ought to have included more younger players, Australia’s coach defended his older players for the World Cup.

Mitchell Marsh’s Bowling Fitness for T20 World Cup: Coach McDonald’s Optimism

Although captain Mitchell Marsh won’t be able to bowl until the last week before Australia’s T20 World Cup team departs for the Caribbean, coach Andrew McDonald is optimistic that he will be ready to play in the tournament’s opening match.

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.

Marsh wasn’t originally anticipated to make it to the first camp of the week, but during the past two days, his hamstring had sufficiently healed to allow him to attend and bat in the nets. However, McDonald acknowledged that he wouldn’t be ready to bowl until much closer to the competition.

“It’s unlikely that he will bowl here in the coming weeks,” McDonald said to reporters on Tuesday at Allan Border Field. “It is likely to occur the week prior to our departure. When we get over there, he’ll be able to step it up. Throughout the competition, we’ll be able to pick and choose when he can be helpful with the ball. We have good coverage nevertheless because of the squad’s depth on all fronts.

“[His recovery from the back of the hamstring] was probably a little slower than anticipated. But now that he won’t be playing in the IPL, we have plenty of time. It will be the first game in less than a month. So he had plenty of time to prepare. However, it’s great to see the skipper at the park.”

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

McDonald stated, “There’s no real concern about match fitness.” “During the support time, we have a few practice matches when we get in Trinidad. He will therefore probably have many opportunity to play. And if not, our coaching staff is fairly skilled at simulating those through practice.”

The only five players from Australia’s 15-man roster not playing in the IPL right now are Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Ashton Agar, and Marsh. They all took part in the first two days of training in Brisbane, along with Aaron Hardie, Tanveer Sangha, Matt Short, Matt Kuhnemann, Xavier Bartlett, and Marnus Labuschagne.

The other players are part of an extended group that is on standby as potential traveling reserves for the World Cup, but the latter is getting ready to travel to England for a county championship stint with Glamorgan. He was the only player to train with the red ball.

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

Also Read: Australia Clinches T20 World Cup Triumph with Stellar Performances by Marsh and Warner

Mitchell Marsh’s Bowling Fitness for T20 World Cup: Coach McDonald’s Optimism

“We need to make some choices,” McDonald stated. Some international teams have as many as four reserves, according to reports. In the next weeks, [chair of selectors] George Bailey will bring us together to discuss it, and we’ll put the finishing touches on that team. At this point, we plan to take one reserve, if there are any.”

Following the exclusion of Jake Fraser-McGurk, an impressive young player, from the Australian team, McDonald was questioned about the team’s age. Australia’s Cameron Green, who turns 25 just before the competition begins, will be the only member of their squad under the age of 28. The only other players on the team under 30 are Inglis, Tim David, and Nathan Ellis.

On the big stage, though, the coach had faith in his veteran players to perform well once more. “There’s been a discussion around the age profile of our team in all formats,” McDonald added. “I really think that you never know when anything is going to end. And because of their age, a lot of people disregard such athletes.

“We believe that we’ve given other players a lot of opportunity, especially in the white-ball space, over the past 12 months. Have we returned to the tried and true in terms of World Cups and the performers we are confident can provide their best on that platform? That’s beyond a doubt.

The players are those who have been there, done that, and are still in excellent shape. And you consider David Warner, who has an incredible record over the last 15 games for Australia. The team’s elder statesmen, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Mitchell Starc, are still producing at the highest level internationally. And it makes a big difference.”

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