Fit again Marcus Stoinis reveals Mitch Marsh’s parting message, and backs Cameron Green to earn a recall against England
Marsh 'coming back to win this World Cup': Stoinis
Mitch Marsh has told teammates he is "coming back to win this World Cup" as Australia look set to weather the loss of two of their most important players without calling in reinforcements.
Marcus Stoinis expects to be passed fit to face England after overcoming the latest in a series of leg concerns and has backed fellow allrounder Cameron Green to earn a recall as well, with both Marsh and Glenn Maxwell unavailable for Saturday's contest in Ahmedabad.
Maxwell was concussed after falling off the back of a golf cart, but the Aussies are optimistic he will recover in time for next Tuesday's clash with Afghanistan.
And Stoinis revealed Marsh has vowed to return to help the Aussies claim their sixth men's 50-over title.
"He's got a family issue going on and like we all know, family is very important, the most important (thing) really," Stoinis told reporters on Thursday. "He's doing the right thing and he's getting home and he's seeing the people he needs to see.
"I don't think there's a timeline on when he's coming back, but I'm sure he'll do what he needs to do at home and then get back.
"He sent me a message last night saying, 'I'll be home for a little bit and then I'm coming back to win this World Cup' so that speaks to his mindset I think.
"You miss him off the field – in terms of his energy and his personality around the team as much as we're going to miss him on the field – but you can pretty much see how the team’s going to line-up (without him).
"I joked with him that he just passes the overs back to me now – and ‘thanks for that’. You know that the bases are covered, but we will miss him, and he'll be back soon."
Australia are still yet to have gone into a World Cup game with 15 fully fit squad members.
They carried Travis Head – who only returned from a broken hand last week, scoring what Stoinis termed a "freakish" century – through the first half of the tournament while Stoinis has had hamstring, quad and calf niggles that sidelined him for half their matches.
"There's been moving parts. It hasn't been the smoothest campaign and we've gone from losing the first couple to now sitting in the top four," he said.
"It always feels good when you walk towards the finals and boys start coming back into the team. We saw it with Heady last game, so it could be our secret weapon."
As it stands, Australia are not allowed to bring in a player from outside their squad to temporarily replace Marsh. Tournament rules dictate that squad amendments are irreversible and only an injury (or another reason approved by the ICC) would allow Marsh to then come back in.
Tim David, Matt Short or Aaron Hardie, who all made their ODI debuts in the months leading into this tournament, would be front of the queue if they were to pull that lever.
But Stoinis was confident Australia could deal with the latest disruption without doing that.
With Green the obvious candidate to come into the XI alongside Stoinis, Travis Head will need to replace Maxwell's crucial spin overs that have been a big factor in their four-game winning streak. Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne would slide up to No.3 and 4 respectively in Marsh’s absence.
Green has not made an impact in his two World Cup games so far (16 runs in two innings and just two overs with the ball) and is on the tail-end of a gruelling year that has taken in a Test tour of India, a full IPL campaign, six Tests in the UK and now his first ODI World Cup.
"I've known him for a long time from being in Western Australia, so you sort of feel like the unofficial big brother. Me and Mitchy feel like that towards him," Stoinis said of his state teammate Green.
"But he's good … It's just about learning what helps you get through those sorts of times where it's long periods away from home.
"It's a big year. It's exciting for him in that he would have been dreaming about big years like this and doing all these tours, being in the IPL and a Test tour of India and an Ashes series. It's just part of being a cricketer now.
"To an extent it's the quote 'be careful what you wish for' sort of thing and then you go through it and it is a lot. But that's a great thing for him and he'll learn from that.
"But he's actually going really well. He had a long (training) session yesterday as well. As long as you feel you're learning and getting better, as a cricketer it's easier to be on the road."
Stoinis said he had been stubborn in his push to prove his fitness for Australia's match against New Zealand last week, having gotten through several long training sessions. But he admitted he was underdone, having not bowled off his full run nor sprinted or changed direction at pace.
He has pledged to not hold back for the back-end of the tournament, having had to tweak his training regimen in a bid to stay on the park.
"I've been spoken to about maybe training too much there," said Stoinis.
"That's just part of training, especially over here in India. You’ve got the facilities all the time, you’ve got net bowlers, it's been part of how I train in the IPL, which has helped me a lot. It has been mixture of a few things, plus probably a bit of just enjoying it.
"(Injuries) are more just frustrating, but luckily, I'm at an age now where I've dealt with a few of them."
Australia's 2023 ODI World Cup fixtures
October 8: Lost to India by six wickets
October 12: Lost to South Africa by 134 runs
October 16: Defeated Sri Lanka by five wickets
October 20: Defeated Pakistan by 62 runs
October 25: Defeated Netherlands by 309 runs
October 28: Defeated New Zealand by five runs
November 4: v England, Ahmedabad (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT
November 7: v Afghanistan, Mumbai (D/N), 7.30pm AEDT
November 11: v Bangladesh, Pune, 4pm AEDT
Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Sean Abbott, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa