Mitch Marsh Fronts Strong Australia Squad Against West Indies as T20 World Cup Looms
All-rounder Mitch Marsh further cemented his position as frontrunner for Australia for T20 World Cup captaincy after being named skipper for the upcoming three-match T20I series against West Indies.
The series, starting February 21, brings together a powerful Australian squad featuring David Warner, Tim David, and Marcus Stoinis who will return early from their Indian Premier League (IPL) stints.
However, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Steven Smith will be rested, with selectors eyeing their inclusion for the subsequent T20Is in New Zealand. The permanent T20 captaincy remains undecided, following Aaron Finch’s retirement last year.
“We will make a decision after the New Zealand series,” chairman of selectors George Bailey stated. “That’s when Andrew [McDonald] returns as coach, and it’s crucial to observe their partnership.”
Marsh, who led an inexperienced team to a 3-0 triumph in South Africa last year, will relish his first captaincy stint on home soil. He expects Smith, rested from the ODIs, to join the T20I squad.
“I want to be a part of it,” Smith affirmed. “I’ve had some successful opening stints in the Big Bash and wouldn’t mind an international opportunity.”
Cummins and Starc, after a grueling summer of Tests, will rest for all West Indies limited-overs matches but are likely to return for New Zealand and the subsequent two Tests. Their IPL workload before the World Cup remains a key factor for the selectors.
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Josh Hazlewood, with no IPL commitments, finds himself in the T20I squad, aiming to capitalize on the six matches against West Indies and New Zealand as his preparation for the World Cup.
Australia’s T20 World Cup aspirations gain considerable momentum with Marsh leading a formidable squad, while the final captaincy puzzle nears its resolution.
Australia T20I Squad vs West Indies
Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Marsh (capt).