India vs Australia: Mitch Marsh says he won’t bowl in ODI series

A long injury lay-off had kept Mitchell Marsh out of international cricket for about three months. In December last year, the Australian all-rounder underwent surgery to treat his troublesome left ankle.

Though he will be one of the vital cogs in Australia’s wheels when the three-match ODI series begins here on Friday, Marsh won’t be bowling.

The 31-year-old believes he is still a long way away from bowling full-fledged. “No, I won’t be bowling in this series, (I am) probably three weeks or a month away from bowling in a game, (will) build towards the IPL,” Marsh said on the eve of the series opener.

“It is not the right time to be rushing back. We have a lot of bowling options in the team at the moment and a lot of cricket to be played this year. Very recently, I had surgery (ankle) to prolong my career as an all-rounder and I won’t be rushing back….”

He missed the entire Big Bash League and only featured in a couple of domestic games for Western Australia before flying out to India for the limited-overs series. “After a long layoff through injury, for me, it has been really important to come back as a better version of myself. I feel that way right now, I feel good. It was nice to play some games for WA (Western Australia), get some miles in the leg and get ready for this series. I’m feeling great, and hopefully, I can contribute to a few wins,” he said.

Leading up to the ODI World Cup – to be held in India later this year – the Aussies want to plan things well in advance.

“As an all-rounder, it’s vitally important they play all three of us…that’s a joke,” he said in jest. “For the balance of our team, having as many all-rounders in here as we can is important for the structure we line up with. We’ve seen really good teams in the past, like England, have guys at No. 8 who are genuine batters, and it gives you the ability to either set or chase really big totals. Think we’ll see that in this series; hopefully, there will be a lot of runs scored,” he said.

“Looking forward to the ODI 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.”

He also admitted that David Warner, who returns to action after recovering from an elbow injury, is fit even though the team management does not want to rush him in.

Over the last few weeks, Steve Smith has given enough indications that this would probably be his last tour to India, but Marsh hopes that the seasoned campaigner continues. “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 said, before adding with a smile, “He is here to stay, I am declaring it…”

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