ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021
In-form Marsh backed to have a 'massive tournament'
Mitch Marsh has caught the eye of his Australian teammates in the nets ahead of the T20 World Cup
20 October 2021, 11:32 AM AEST
Veteran batsman Shaun Marsh believes his younger brother Mitch has found his happy place, while Glenn Maxwell is certain the in-form allrounder will have a "massive" T20 World Cup.
Mitch Marsh has been in hot form in the T20 international arena since July, posting four half-centuries and two other scores in the 40s since then.
He also posted a brilliant century for Western Australia earlier this month in a Marsh One-Day Cup win over South Australia.
Marsh, who is expected to have first crack at the all-important No.3 spot in the batting order, now looms as a key ingredient in Australia's hopes of winning the T20 World Cup for the first time.
"Mitch Marsh is going to have a massive tournament. I don't think I've seen anyone hit the ball better - ever," Maxwell said.
"We all gathered around his nets and just watched him hit the ball - it's been pretty extraordinary.
"I'd be really surprised if he didn't have a good tournament ... he's flying."
Shaun believes it is happiness off the field that has helped Mitch the most.
"He's found a real balance in life away from cricket," Shaun said.
"He got engaged recently. He's in a really happy place away from cricket and I've got no doubt that's helped him be a bit more relaxed and enjoy the game.
"I know how talented he is. It's nice to see that coming out of him now and I can't wait to see him bat over there.
"We speak regularly. We're brothers, but we're really good friends as well."
Shaun feels batting at first drop is what will best suit Mitch at the World Cup.
"He's going great. He's full of confidence and he's played so well over the last six months," Marsh said.
"It's the best I've seen him hit the ball in a long time.
"His confidence is up and he's feeling loved, and I'm sure he's going to do a really good job over there."
Maxwell, meanwhile, has preached the value of patience as Australia try to master cricket's helter-skelter format and secure an elusive title in stifling conditions.
Maxwell dominated the second phase of the Indian Premier League, peeling off scores of 56, 50no, 57, 40 and 51no for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Those performances came at the same UAE venues hosting the T20 World Cup, which for Australia starts on Saturday night (AEDT) against South Africa.
Maxwell, who thanked superstar teammates Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers for helping him reach a remarkably consistent level in recent weeks, flagged a low-scoring T20 World Cup might be on the cards.
And the off-spinning allrounder, having been part of three campaigns to lift the one major piece of men's silverware to have eluded Australia, believes it will be vital for his side's aggression with the bat to be astute.
"It just takes a little bit more time to soak in a bit of information," Maxwell said, noting IPL sides routinely struggled to score 50-plus runs in the final five overs of an innings.
"About the conditions, the bowlers. It just takes a few extra balls to get used to what's out there ... (whereas) you can try to hit boundaries a lot earlier (in Australia).
"I don't think it's going to be the 220s and 230s (totals) that people have come to expect from small grounds like Sharjah.
"But in saying that, if someone gets in from the Powerplay ... anything can happen because if you get used to the conditions then you can certainly make the most of them and dominate."
2021 Men's T20 World Cup
Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins (vc), Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, Daniel Sams
How the teams are grouped
Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Oman
Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1, B2
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, B1, A2