Mitchell Marsh backs Glenn Maxwell to play big role in Australia's World Cup campaign
All-rounder Glenn Maxwell will have a big role to play in the ODI World Cup for Australia as he brings a lot of balance to the side as the third spinner, said Mitchell Marsh.
Returning to top flight cricket after six months due to soreness to his ankle and birth of his son, Maxwell came up with career-best 4 for 40 to bowl Australia to a convincing 66-run win over India in the third and final ODI in Rajkot on Wednesday night.
"It was a great spell. He came back after having not played much cricket for the last (few) months," Marsh said during the press-conference.
"It was great to see him back. It is the energy that Maxi brings to the team, his presence and the balance that he gives us."
"We obviously know that his batting is absolutely class but what he can do with the ball, and the options that he will give us with our all-rounders is vital for us going into the World Cup."
Talking about Maxwell's role in the World Cup, Marsh said, "There may be wickets where he's the third spinner through this World Cup.
"But just the ability for us to play the three quicks, a spinner and have Maxi who has the ability on the right wicket to bowl ten overs, think you see a lot of teams around the world have guys like Maxi; it gives you a lot of flexibility with the teams you can pick or the way you can structure your batting line-up."
Marsh, who struck a match-winning 96 in the first half, could not field in the second innings as he was cramping up after batting in extreme heat and humidity.
"It was as tough as (anywhere) I have batted in. When I came off, I was absolutely exhausted, (had) full body cramp but obviously (it was) nice to contribute to a win like that. I thought we played outstanding (cricket),” he said.
"I wanted to (bowl), basically bowled a couple of balls (during warm up) but basically had cramps all the way up in my legs."
"It has been a big couple of weeks, I have played 10 out of a possible 11 games in the last three weeks so with what is to come, the staff said to cool my jets for the fielding innings," he said.
For the second time against India this year, Marsh looked set to add a second ODI century to his kitty but missed narrowly. "It is never nice to get that close — you want to get to a hundred," he said.
"(It was) unfortunate but the way we all batted was outstanding and (it was) really the way we want to go about it, moving forward to the World Cup. I thought today (Wednesday) was a really good template of how we want to play our cricket and gave ourselves an opportunity."
Marsh said clarity of his role in the team and getting more overs to bat opening the innings have brought him closer to scoring his first ODI ton since 2016.
"You would always like more hundreds. I have batted most of my career in middle to lower order, you do not always get the opportunity to score hundreds back there."
"This year I have batted at the top and I am getting myself into positions to score hundreds, most importantly for the team to set the platform."