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Mitch Marsh will not bowl in T20 World Cup opener against Oman: Coach McDonald

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Australia skipper Mitchell Marsh will not bowl in its T20 World Cup opener against Oman on June 6 and will play only as a batter as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury sustained during the IPL, said head coach Andrew McDonald on Friday.

Marsh played both the World Cup warm-up games against Namibia and co-host West Indies in Trinidad, scoring 18 and 4 respectively.

But the pace-bowling all-rounder did not field for the full bowling innings in either games, with Matthew Wade taking over captaincy duties in his absence.

“For Mitch, (the warm-up games) was about ticking off where his body was at,” McDonald told cricket.com.au.

“He fielded more overs tonight (in the warm-up against West Indies), he was able to move more freely, so he’s building a little bit of confidence there. It looks as though he’s all set for the first game,” he added.

Marsh played just four matches for Delhi Capitals in the recently concluded IPL following a right hamstring niggle and he flew back to Australia in the last week of April to continue his recuperation.

“The second part is just when the bowling comes back online… it won’t be the first game,” said McDonald.

During the second warm-up game against the West Indies, nine-man Australia lost by 35 runs, with the absence of skipper Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Cameron Green and Travis Head, who are yet to join the squad, being felt by the Kangaroos.

The Australian players who took part in the IPL flew back home to be with their families and were exempted from the warm-up fixtures.

ALSO READ: Pooran, Powell help WI hammer nine-man Australia by 35 runs in warm-up match

“It was by design, in terms of when we were getting people back after the IPL; we were well aware we weren’t going to get the squad together until the first of next month,” said McDonald.

“We’ve got some things in place where we’ll bring the group together, we’ll work through our plans leading into Oman and there’s a bit of space between that game and (playing) England.” Australia will play arch-rivals and defending T20 World Cup champion England here on June 9.

“We feel as though we have plenty of time to bring that group together. It’s a familiar group, they’ve played a lot together. If they hadn’t played a lot together then the prep might have looked different,” the coach added.

“We feel comfortable though as they know how to play with each other. It will just be finalising the XIs for the games, and the balances that we want. We’ve got plenty of options.”

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