Former Australian Test captain Mark Taylor believes World Cup hero Mitch Marsh may have plunged himself into the Ashes battle after his match-winning bank in the final.
After years of being the Australian cricket whip boy, Marsh delivered on the biggest stage, guiding his team to its first T20 World Cup with an undefeated 77 out of 50 deliveries.
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Marsh has enjoyed the most productive year of his career with the bat in the T20 format, where he scored over 600 runs with an average of 36.88 and a strike rate of 129.81 in 2021.
A combination of injuries and poor form stretches has resulted in the 30-year-old having a stop-start international career, but Taylor believes his play in the last 12 months could be a sign that he is a late bloomer.
“What you might see from Mitch Marsh is that he’s now 31, he’s matured, and you might see a bit of a late flower,” Taylor told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports Radio.
“Everyone assumed 10 years ago that Mitch Marsh would join the team after captaining our U19 team about 12 years ago and become a fixture … and he has not established that.
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“There’s still an opportunity for him to do that. I have no doubt that given his performance last night and the way he’s constantly maturing, his test days may not be over.
“We’ve talked about who can beat No. 5 for Australia in a couple of weeks. I bet the pickers sit down and talk about Usman Khawaja and Travis Head, but Mitch Marsh is back in the equation.”
Taylor also hit back at Marsh’s now famous quote from 2019, in which he claimed that Australia “hated” him.
“He’s wrong, I do not think Australia has hated him at all,” he said.
“There is no doubt that Australia loves to see our side and our individuals play the best possible cricket, and unfortunately for Mitch we have not seen it at test level so there has been a bit of disappointment around his performance.
“I’ve known Mitch Marsh since he was born, he’s an amazing boy and just has not performed at that test match level.”
While England’s tournament party has been training together in Australia during the T20 World Cup, Taylor believes that the confidence that David Warner has gained from the World Cup will keep the home team in good shape for the Ashes series.
“I think trust is just as important, if not more important, than momentum,” he said.
“That victory will silence critics and will give people like David Warner [confidence] … he has also proven that everyone is wrong, he is ready to go again.
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“Mitch Marsh believes he’s an international cricketer again, even Matthew Wade, who was dropped from the Australian side after last summer for the tour that never took place in South Africa, he now believes enough that he is not done further.
“So beware, the Australians will be full of confidence. They may not be quite as prepared for the test match, but they are confident now.”
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