Mitchell Marsh supports David Warner to open for Australia in ODI World Cup 2023 opener
Cummins is having a fractured hand, Smith has a wrist tendon issue, Maxwell is dealing with ankle problems, and Starc is recovering from a groin injury.
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Before the much-anticipated ODI World Cup in India, Australia's cricket fans are holding their breath as key players face fitness woes. Captain Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, and Mitchell Starc have been named in the provisional 15-man squad, but their injuries cast doubts over their participation in the tournament. Cummins has a fractured wrist, while Smith has a tendon issue related to the wrist.
Furthermore, Maxwell is dealing with ankle problems, and the ace pacer Starc is recovering from a groin injury. These ailments have forced them to miss the ODI series in South Africa, which has left the Australian squad with some concerns just weeks before the ODI World Cup kicks off. While their absence has provided opportunities for emerging talents like Aaron Hardie, Tanveer Sangha, and Nathan Ellis, the selectors have opted to stick with the experienced senior group.
Notably, eight players from the 2023 World Cup squad were also part of the 2019 tournament, indicating the team's reliance on seasoned campaigners. With Aaron Finch's retirement, Mitchell Marsh has been lauded as a potential opener, but he acknowledges the competition from David Warner and Travis Head. Marsh expects to bat in the middle order, given Warner's stature as one of the greatest of all time in one-day cricket.
“I expect to bat middle order, We have Travis Head and Australia’s best-ever all-three-format player there, so I dare say I probably won’t be opening the batting,” Marsh told AAP.
Glenn Maxwell's situation remains the most concerning, as he grapples with leg and ankle issues arising from a previous injury. Maxwell is determined to manage his preparation better to avoid setbacks in the future.
Cummins, Starc and Maxwell are on track in their return to play programs: Bailey
The selectors, led by George Bailey, remain optimistic about the injured players' return to action, emphasizing their potential inclusion in the series against India. With eight one-day matches and two World Cup practice games still ahead, there is ample opportunity for these key players to regain match fitness and make themselves available for selection.
“Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and Glenn Maxwell are on track in their return to play programs, There are eight one-day matches still to play in South Africa and India before the final squad is due to be declared. They are followed by two World Cup practice games, which offers plenty of opportunity to continue the build for the tournament,” Bailey said.
As the World Cup draws near, Australian fans will be anxiously awaiting updates on the fitness of Cummins, Smith, Maxwell, and Starc, hoping that their top stars can recover in time to represent their nation on the grand stage in India.