T20 World Cup showing could open Test doors for Mitch Marsh


Australian coach Justin Langer’s comments have given Mitch Marsh hope that he could make a quick return to Test cricket, if not in the Ashes then, perhaps, in one of the several series the team will play next year in a packed schedule.

Marsh, who is currently with the Aaron Finch-led squad for the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE, slammed an unbeaten half-century against the West Indies in the last ‘Super 12’ game to guide his side into the semifinals. He also remained unbeaten in the low-scoring game against Bangladesh which Autsralia won by eight wickets.

But the batter being dropped for the crucial ‘Super 12’ game against arch-rivals England, which saw Australia suffer a humiliating defeat, opened a can of worms for skipper Aaron Finch, who faced criticism from several former Australian greats, including Shane Warne, for omitting the middle-order batter and including an out-of-form Steve Smith.

But with the Ashes less than a month away, coach Justin Langer’s comments have given Marsh hope of a Test call-up.

“I certainly still have aspirations to get back into the Test team at some stage,” Marsh said to Sportsday WA on Tuesday. “I don’t have a lot of red-ball cricket (form) to put my hand up for selection (with), but JL’s (Justin Langer) always said that form is form, no matter the format.

“Hopefully (my) international form can carry over to selection to the red-ball stuff,” said Marsh.

Marsh, 30, averages 25.20 in Tests and so far has two hundreds to his name. The Ashes squad is likely to be announced in the coming weeks.

The cricketer said that the vibes in the dressing room under Langer were great, adding that no team can make it to the semifinals (ICC T20 World Cup) if there are bad vibes.

Langer was caught in the middle of a storm when he was under hotel quarantine in Adelaide with the Australian team. Tensions flared up between the 46-year-old Langer and the cricketers, and Cricket Australia (CA) had to do a lot of fire-fighting, holding an emergency Zoom meeting in August where CA chairman Earl Eddings, CEO Hockley, Test skipper Tim Paine, limited-overs captain Aaron Finch, and Pat Cummins were present.

Langer came under intense scrutiny after returning from Australia’s 4-1 T20I series losses to West Indies and Bangladesh. There were reports of discontent between him and the players apart from alleged heated argument with a Cricket Australia (CA) staffer in Dhaka.

“The vibe in this group now has been greatÂ… you don’t make semifinals or get through pool stages without a great vibe in the team,” Marsh said. “JL’s been fantastic since we’ve been over here (in UAE).”