Marsh confident Australia will be ‘up and about’ for India challenge after Afghanistan loss

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Mitchell Marsh has backed Australia’s big-game mentality to come to the fore against India after their first-ever defeat to Afghanistan left their T20 World Cup 2024 hopes in jeopardy amid question marks over another lackluster fielding display.
Australia have a very short turnaround as they play the day game in St Lucia on Monday – following a finish of close to midnight in St Vincent – and even a victory may not be enough to reach the semi-finals, which shows how quickly a campaign that had been running smoothly can be rocked: had they beaten Afghanistan, progress would have been confirmed along with India.

What is close to must-win cricket in World Cups is not a new experience to Australia – they were effectively in that mode for much of the ODI edition last year after a poor start – and Marsh was confident they could dig deep again.

“We have a lot of belief in our group,” Marsh said. “We are a very good cricket team. Yes, tonight we had an off night, but I guess there’s also a positive in the fact that in 36 hours we go again. I think if you look back at the short history of this team, I know for a fact that it brings out the best in our guys, so the boys will certainly be up and about for it.”

“It’s all about trusting ourselves,” he added. “We’ve got a good bunch of people and I believe our best is up there with the best. So, we need to bring that on whatever day it is in a couple of days’ time and move forward pretty quickly.”

For the second time in three matches, Australia were poor in the field with five missed catches – none of which were easy – and a stumping from Matthew Wade, plus some poor groundwork as they were put under pressure by Afghanistan’s running between the wickets.

“…ultimately, we have 36 hours to turn it around and I still believe that our best is very good in the field.”

Mitchell Marsh

“We certainly pride ourselves on our fielding,” he said. “Can’t question the boys putting in the work. I think it’s no different to any other skill set. We put in the work, we didn’t execute in the field tonight and ultimately it played a part in us losing the game.

“I think we don’t want to have too many off nights in the field but I also believe that at our best we’re an unbelievable fielding side so it’s easy to look at tonight and, yes, it was disappointing but ultimately, we have 36 hours to turn it around and I still believe that our best is very good in the field.”

In contrast, Afghanistan were excellent, most significantly with Noor Ahmad’s superb catch to remove Glenn Maxwell when he was threatened to guide the chase home.

“I think in T20 especially, a short format, where you make those small mistakes, it’s pretty hard for you to come back,” Rashid Khan said. “In ODIs, yes, you have 50 overs where you can have the comeback. But in T20…you don’t have any space where you can come back again into the game. I think fielding plays [as] crucial role as the batting and bowling.”



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