Mitchell Marsh coy on captaincy ambitions, all eyes on T20 World Cup

Allrounder Mitchell Marsh isn’t ready to throw his hat into the ring for the ODI captaincy just yet, saying his full focus is on helping Australia retain the T20 World Cup crown.

Aaron Finch announced his retirement from ODI cricket last week following his horror run of form, but he will stay on as skipper for the T20 World Cup in Australia, which begins next month.

Test skipper Pat Cummins could take over the ODI captaincy, but David Warner is also a chance to be thrust into the job if his lifetime leadership ban is overturned by Cricket Australia. Wicketkeeper Alex Carey and Marsh are among the other names to have been floated.

Marsh has plenty of captaincy experience at Western Australia, but he played a straight bat when asked about the prospect of taking over as ODI skipper.

“I need to be very careful what I say here, you know I don’t like headlines,” Marsh said with a smile. “I think there may be conversations down the track. But this World Cup is so important to us as a team, and for me personally it’s everything I’ve worked for over the last couple of years.

“Cricket Australia have a bit of time to make that [captaincy] call over the next few months, and we’ll see where it lands.”

Marsh was full of praise for Finch, who averaged 38.89 during his glittering 146-match ODI career.

“He will be sorely missed in our change rooms over the next few years,” Marsh said. “[He scored] 17 one-day international hundreds and I really hope he goes down as one of the greats of Australian cricket when it comes to white-ball cricket. Just a ripping bloke and a great captain.”

Mitchell Starc (knee soreness), Marcus Stoinis (side strain) and Marsh (ankle) were all ruled out of next week’s three-match T20 series in India.

Marsh is confident his ankle injury will heal in time to allow him to take part in home T20 fixtures against the West Indies, England, and India prior to the World Cup.

“The ankle is coming along pretty well,” Marsh said after Western Australia’s season launch on Thursday. “It’s on the minor end of the [scale] but with the World Cup coming up, it’s really the only opportunity to get it right for that.

“I’m certainly not worried about it, it’s coming along well and hopefully I’ll be right to play against the West Indies in a few weeks’ time.”

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