Mitchell Swamp. (Photo by Gareth Copley/ICC via Getty Images)
Australia’s T20 hero Mitchell Marsh has been ruled out with an injury as she and Pakistan qualify for the 50-over World Cup when they start a day-long, three-game international series in Lahore from Tuesday.
The series is part of the 13-team ODI Super League, where each game is worth 10 points, with the top seven automatically qualifying for next year’s World Cup.
Australia are currently seventh and Pakistan tenth, but both have only contested three of their eight scheduled series.
India has already qualified to host.
Already without key players David Warner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Steven Smith for a variety of reasons, Australia were further hit by the loss of all-rounder Marsh, their hero as they won the T20 World Championship in November.
All five senior players were part of the team that won the three-game Test series 1-0 in Australia’s first tour of Pakistan in 24 years last week.
Skipper Aaron Finch fears Marsh, 30, could miss the entire ODI series.
“Mitch injured his hip flexor during field practice on Sunday,” Finch said Monday.
“We’ll have to wait and see but I don’t think he’ll be available for the series based on how he was feeling yesterday.”
Finch hopes new players like Sean Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis and Ben McDermott have risen to the occasion despite their inexperience.
“Sometimes that can be a real blessing because you give the guys a chance to just be free to play and express themselves,” Finch said.
“It’s about building depth in the squad and the experience of the players,” he added.
Australia will also be without wicketkeeper and batsman Josh Inglis, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Monday.
“Inglis will isolate for five days before returning to the squad,” a Cricket Australia publication said.
Finch can take heart from the fact that Pakistan have not won an ODI series against them since 2002, with Australia winning eight of the 11 – their last seven in a row.
Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman said his team is aiming for a maximum of 30 points from the streak.
“They are missing some big names, that will make a difference,” he said.
“But it’s an international team and we won’t take them lightly because Australia have a reputation for doing well in all situations and under all circumstances.”
Fakhar vowed Pakistan would put the Test series loss behind it.
“Our captain said what happened is beyond us… this is a new series so we’ll do our best to win it.”
The next two ODIs will also take place in Lahore on Thursday and Saturday.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (Captain), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Asif Afridi, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-Ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Zahid Mahmood, Mohammad Rizwan , Mohammad Wasim Junior, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir
Australia: Aaron Finch (Captain), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Ben McDermott, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Adam Zampa
Exhausted Australia suffers Marsh injury damage for Pakistan ODI series
Source link Exhausted Australia suffers Marsh injury damage for Pakistan ODI series