Marsh: 'I won't be bowling early on in the World Cup'

Australia captain "really easy" about some of the squad arriving late, having taken time off to unwind after the IPL

Mitchell Marsh, Australia's captain at T20 World Cup 2024, will not bowl in the initial part of the tournament but hopes to be able to do so in the latter stages.
Marsh, who was ruled out of the IPL midway due to a hamstring tear, has had a much slower recovery than initially expected. He didn't bowl during Australia's warm-up matches against Namibia and West Indies either.
"Yeah, I won't be bowling early on in the tournament," Marsh said on Saturday. "And I always joke as captain - I hope I won't bowl late in the tournament either. But yeah, I'll progress that slowly over the next 10-12 days and hopefully be available for them at the back end of the tournament."
For their warm-up matches, Australia had only nine players available from their 15-member squad. At one stage, they had four substitutes on the field comprising head coach Andrew McDonald, batting coach Brad Hodge, fielding coach Andre Borovec and national selector George Bailey.
Travis Head, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis were the ones who were to join the camp late. Except for Stoinis, all the others were involved in the IPL playoffs. Marsh was asked his opinion on the players having joined the camp late. Australia play their first game against Oman in Bridgetown on June 5.
"For me, it's really easy," he said. "We really value a bit of family time. The guys have obviously been at the IPL, which I think is great preparation for a World Cup. And then, yeah, just the value of seeing their families and getting them in their own bed for one or two nights is really important. As a whole, we've all bought into that and it's really easy to do.
"We have still got [Mitchell] Starc and Maxi [Glenn Maxwell] to arrive this morning, or lunchtime. But after that we are all here. I think for the guys to get a couple of days at home is really important for us as a group and for them personally. Obviously, it takes a few days to get here from Australia so that adds a few challenges but they'll be ready to go come the 5th."
Did Australia learn anything from their two warm-up games, having won one and lost the other? "I think we got exactly what we needed to get out of those games," Marsh said. "Obviously, Hodgey won't be available for selection, not quite up to it (laughs). So that was disappointing for him, he misses out. But yeah, for the guys who have had time off at home, to come back and get a bit of game time, that's really all I needed from those practice games. So we certainly feel like we're ready to go now."
This is the biggest-ever T20 World Cup, comprising 20 teams. And unlike the last couple of editions, there is no qualifying round before the tournament proper starts. According to Marsh, that adds a lot of excitement to the tournament.
"I think it certainly feels like a World Cup," he said. "I got presented a Ugandan playing shirt the other day in our team hotel and that was a really special moment. And it's things like that, it's not just about the cricket throughout these World Cups, it's about opportunity and teams have earned the right to be here. I think that adds a lot of excitement to the whole tournament, so it's really special, I think."
However, he offered dead defence when asked if there should have been a longer break between the end of the IPL and the start of the T20 World Cup.
"I don't really have an answer to that question and I don't make those decisions - so as a group we're here to win. Things may look a little bit disjointed at the beginning and I think most teams are in the same boat with guys that are playing the IPL or coming out of the shop. But that's the nature of the beast of international cricket these days. We come from all over to tours and we'll get around each other the next few days and come together and kick off on the field for us."