Andrew McDonald gives a massive update on Mitchell Marsh’s bowling fitness

Australia’s coach, Andrew McDonald, has expressed confidence that skipper Mitchell Marsh will be fully fit for the opening game of the T20 World Cup despite not being able to bowl until the final week before the squad heads to the Caribbean. Marsh sustained a hamstring tear early last month, leading to his early exit from the IPL and a slower-than-expected recovery.

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“Flight took off from Guwahati to Kolkata, was scheduled to land at 11 pm. Couldn’t land once again due to bad weather, despite several attempts. Diverted mid-air to Varanasi now. Just landed here.”

“Marsh was ruled out of the IPL early last month due to a hamstring tear and the recovery has been much slower than initially was expected when he returned home from India.”

Marsh, along with other squad members not involved in the IPL, joined a training camp in Brisbane. McDonald confirmed Marsh would not bowl until closer to the tournament, with plans to ramp up his bowling once they reach the Caribbean.

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“You probably won’t see him bowl in the next couple of weeks here,” McDonald told reporters. “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.”

Marsh’s absence from bowling in the upcoming weeks does not concern McDonald regarding match fitness. He highlighted that Australia has practice games scheduled before their opening match with Oman and can simulate match scenarios in practice if needed.

“No real concern about match fitness,” McDonald said. “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.”

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Marsh is one of five squad members not currently at the IPL. The others are Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Ashton Agar, and Adam Zampa, who are participating in the training camp in Brisbane. Marnus Labuschagne, preparing for a county championship stint with Glamorgan, is also training with the group as a standby player.

McDonald confirmed Australia would likely take one travelling reserve but are yet to decide what type of player they need as cover for the 15-member squad.

“We’ve got some decisions to make,” McDonald said. “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’s looking like one reserve.”

Despite criticism about the age profile of the squad, with only one player under 28, McDonald backed his senior players, stating, “We feel as though in the last 12 months in particular in the white-ball space we’ve given plenty of opportunities to other players. Have we gone back to the tried and tested in terms of World Cups and the performers that we know can perform on that stage? There’s no doubt about that.”

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With ample time before the tournament begins, McDonald is optimistic about Marsh’s recovery and the team’s preparation, confident in their ability to perform well at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

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Australia's coach, Andrew McDonald, has expressed confidence that skipper Mitchell Marsh will be fully fit for the opening game of the T20 World Cup despite not being able to bowl until the final week before the squad heads to the Caribbean. Marsh sustained a hamstring tear early last month, leading to his early exit from the IPL and a slower-than-expected recovery.

"Flight took off from Guwahati to Kolkata, was scheduled to land at 11 pm. Couldn't land once again due to bad weather, despite several attempts. Diverted mid-air to Varanasi now. Just landed here."

"Marsh was ruled out of the IPL early last month due to a hamstring tear and the recovery has been much slower than initially was expected when he returned home from India."

Marsh, along with other squad members not involved in the IPL, joined a training camp in Brisbane. McDonald confirmed Marsh would not bowl until closer to the tournament, with plans to ramp up his bowling once they reach the Caribbean.

"You probably won't see him bowl in the next couple of weeks here," McDonald told reporters. "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."

Marsh's absence from bowling in the upcoming weeks does not concern McDonald regarding match fitness. He highlighted that Australia has practice games scheduled before their opening match with Oman and can simulate match scenarios in practice if needed.

"No real concern about match fitness," McDonald said. "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."

Marsh is one of five squad members not currently at the IPL. The others are Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Ashton Agar, and Adam Zampa, who are participating in the training camp in Brisbane. Marnus Labuschagne, preparing for a county championship stint with Glamorgan, is also training with the group as a standby player.

McDonald confirmed Australia would likely take one travelling reserve but are yet to decide what type of player they need as cover for the 15-member squad.

"We've got some decisions to make," McDonald said. "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's looking like one reserve."

Despite criticism about the age profile of the squad, with only one player under 28, McDonald backed his senior players, stating, "We feel as though in the last 12 months in particular in the white-ball space we've given plenty of opportunities to other players. Have we gone back to the tried and tested in terms of World Cups and the performers that we know can perform on that stage? There's no doubt about that."

With ample time before the tournament begins, McDonald is optimistic about Marsh's recovery and the team's preparation, confident in their ability to perform well at the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Stay updated with all the cricketing action, follow Cricadium on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram