Marsh clear to bowl in boost for Aussies on eve of Super Eights

Australia's T20 captain Mitch Marsh is fit to resume bowling, but hopes he will not have to as his side prepares to face Bangladesh in Antigua

Australia captain Mitch Marsh has been given the green light to return to the bowling crease when the Aussies take on Bangladesh in the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup.

Marsh injured his right hamstring during his stint with Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League and has been on a careful rehabilitation plan since.

However, after gradually increasing his bowling loads at training – he bowled to the team's batters for the first time on Tuesday – the 32-year-old has the all-clear to grab the ball should the match situation suit.

Not that he's desperate to be required with the ball.

The unflappable West Australian has a plethora of options beyond his frontline bowlers: Marcus Stoinis' bowling has been sensational this tournament, Glenn Maxwell and Travis Head bowl more-than-handy off-spin while Tim David has been working hard on both off-spin and leg-spin over the past nine months.

'Nagging' David working hard to convince skipper on bowling

"I’ll be available to bowl," Marsh told reporters at Coolidge Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

"With the line-up that we’ve got I don’t really necessarily see the need for me to bowl, but I think it’s really important in this format to have options and we’re blessed with plenty of those.

"I actually physically feel good. It’s always nice to have a bit of a break from bowling.

"Stoin and I often talk about it as allrounders, we love being in the game.

"As I've said before it’s really important in this format, with some of the teams we're coming up against to have as many options as we possibly can."

Marsh opted against revealing the names that will be on the Australian team sheet tomorrow (10.30am Friday AEST), instead preferring to launch a number of balls onto the neighbouring runways during the net session that followed.

The quaint venue, which is sandwiched between the Cricket West Indies offices and the VC Bird international airport in northern Antigua, wasn't big enough for the centre-wicket range-hitting of the likes of Marsh, David and Stoinis, with a number of the team's white training balls failing to return to the kit bag after being lost in the surrounding gardens and shrubbery.

The ground has a short but colourful history after being redeveloped by American billionaire Allen Stanford in 2004.

Marcus Stoinis launched a number of balls out of the boutique venue // Tama Stockley/

Stanford named the ground after himself and used it for matches in the also eponymous Stanford 20/20 tournaments, which ran in 2006 and 2008.

However, after Stanford was sentenced to 110 years in prison for financial fraud and violations of US securities laws in 2012, the venue was hastily renamed.

Some of the signage is yet to be updated.

Stanford's name has long been removed at Antigua's boutique cricket venue // Josh Schonafinger

Like the Antiguan oval, Australia and Bangladesh also have a relatively brief and fascinating past, although their match on Friday will be just down the road at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. 

The Aussies and the Tigers have only faced each other 10 times in men's T20Is with their first meeting coming in 2007.

Five of those meetings have come at T20 World Cups, with Australia winning all of them including the 2014 contest in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh hosted the only bilateral series between the two nations to date in August 2021, a five-match series in Mirpur during the depths of the Covid pandemic.

Cameron Green and Jake Fraser-McGurk among the Aussies hitting the nets todayy // Tama Stockley/

The home nation dominated their visitors on difficult pitches, winning 4-1.

Marsh was one of Australia's better performers on that tour, establishing himself as the team's preferred No.3.

He was also a crucial component of Australia's maiden T20 World Cup title a few months later, scoring 77not out in the final victory over New Zealand.

Although the sides haven't met for a 20-over contest in almost three years, they faced off in Pune during last year's ODI World Cup in Pune with Marsh describing his 177 not out in that match as a "fond memory".

2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup

Australia's squad: Mitch Marsh (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

Australia's Group B fixtures

June 6: Beat Oman by 39 runs

June 9: Beat England by 36 runs

June 12: Beat Namibia by nine wickets

June 16: Beat Scotland by five wickets

Australia's Super Eight fixtures

21 June: v Bangladesh, Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua, 10.30am AEST

23 June: v Afghanistan, Arnos Vale Ground, St Vincent, 10.30am AEST

25 June: v India, Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St Lucia, 12.30am AEST

Semi-finals to follow if Australia qualify

For the full list of fixtures click here. All matches live and exclusive on Prime Video. Sign up here for a 30-day free trial