Australia will face off against India in the first of the three ODIs which will be played in Mumbai on March 17 and Mitchell Marsh has said that for the sake of the balance of the team, they are looking at having as many all-rounders in the team as possible.
This ODI series will also be a good chance for the Australians to try out various combinations as they prepare for the ICC World Cup 2023 which will be played in India in October-November.
“For the balance of our team, having as many all-rounders in here as we can is really important for the structure we line up with. We’ve seen really good teams in the past, England have guys batting at No 8 who are genuine batters, and it gives you the ability to either set really big totals or chase big totals,” Marsh told reporters ahead of the first ODI.
“Think we’ll see that (big totals) in this series, hopefully, there’ll be a lot of runs scored, and looking forward to the World Cup, just the way cricket is played here in the white-ball format, you’ll have to chase or make big scores. The more flexibility and depth you can have with your batting line-up, I think it will be really important.
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It is going to be a high-scoring world cup … from my experience it is nice to have options to go to, to change things up, try and change the momentum of the games, the more options the better.” Marsh said.
“I think it is really important for us to focus on winning this series. Anytime we play for Australia it is important to have that mindset, as every team would be doing now over the next six months or so, building towards the World Cup. We might just play a few different lineups, experimenting with a few guys but the mindset is to come here and win the series. Obviously, we have got a fair bit of experience playing here which is great so hopefully, it will be a few good games for us,” Marsh added.
Australia already lost the four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 2-1 to India and Marsh feels that beating India in their own backyard is going to be really challenging.
He said: “It is always a difficult place to win. The Indian one-day team is outstanding and they play very well at home. But I think we have also got a very good side and it is going to be a great contest. Hopefully, we can play some good cricket, entertain some big crowds and win a few games for Australia.”
Marsh also confirmed that he will be playing only as a batter in this series after making his comeback post an ankle surgery in December 2022.
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“Probably still a month, three weeks away from bowling in games. (I am) building towards the IPL. It’s certainly not something I’m rushing back, we’ve got a lot of options in our team at the moment and a lot of cricket to play this year. The reason I had the surgery was to prolong my career as an allrounder and won’t be rushing back,” he said.
Marsh also said he has no captaincy aspirations, adding stand-in skipper Steve Smith is not retiring anytime soon.
“Have I got captaincy aspirations? No. I think Steve has hinted a few times that he might retire soon, he is just keeping everyone on their toes. He is here to stay, I am declaring it,” Marsh signed off.