After his consistent performances in West Indies and Bangladesh earlier this season, Mitchell Marsh is confident that he would retain his No.3 spot in Australia’s first XI at the T20 World Cup 2021. The all-rounder also felt that a good show in the mega event would push his case for Test selection.
Mitchell Marsh was Australia’s standout performer during their 1-4 series defeats in West Indies and Bangladesh recently. He topped the run-scoring charts in each, with 219 runs at 43.80 in the Caribbean, before aggregating 156 at 31.20 in a rather low-scoring series in Bangladesh.
"I dare say that if I play in this tournament, I'll be listed at number three," Marsh said. "But I think the beauty of our squad is that, from three to six or even seven, all of us can float and it will just be a matter of game situation and who we think is best to go in next. I think I'll be at the top if I do play, but it's about being adaptable and being able to float with the guys that we've got coming after me."
Marsh realises the importance of enhancing ball-striking skills against spin-bowling in UAE conditions, and revealed of his recent sessions with Adam Zampa for the same.
"I just asked him where he would bowl to me to try and stop me from scoring," he said. "I've worked really hard on my game against spin, probably more so around the rotation of strike and making sure that I'm getting off strike through those middle overs in white-ball cricket. Then the extension of that was trying to make sure I have plenty of boundary options.
"I've watched guys like Marcus Stoinis who use the crease unbelievably well. Getting back and hitting guys over deep midwicket off the back foot for six and I think when you start playing shots like that, then you get more balls in your area to look down the ground. In these conditions we know we're going to get a lot of spin."
Marsh is hopeful of putting himself in contention for a Test selection with the home Ashes series not too far away. The 29-year-old’s most recent of 32 Tests dates back to September 2019 - the last match of the away Ashes series at The Oval - in which he’d picked up his only career five-for.
"I'd love to play Test cricket again for Australia at some point," he admitted. "I'm not going to have a lot of red-ball cricket to put my name up there for selection, but like many before me, if I can perform in white ball then you're still in the selectors' eyes. But first things first is to be part of this World Cup, which is going to be very exciting."
Australia will kick-start their 2021 T20 World Cup campaign in a Group 1 Super-12 encounter against South Africa in Abu Dhabi on October 23.