T20 World Cup 2022: "In any other side in the world would be a walk-up start" - Mitchell Marsh praises Steve Smith but hints at an unchanged XI for Sri Lanka clash 

Australia v West Indies - T20I Series: Game 1
Steve Smith was not included in the playing XI for Australia's opening clash against New Zealand

Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has lavished praise on Steve Smith but admitted that it would be hard for the ace batter to get into the playing XI at the moment.

The defending champions have got off to a rocky start at the T20 World Cup 2022 following a heavy loss against New Zealand in the opening contest of the Super 12 stage.

The former Australian skipper was given a free role down the order in the build-up to the tournament. However, the emergence of Tim David and the presence of match-winners and all-rounders like Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis make the middle order a stacked unit.

It's a delicate position the Aussies find themselves in, but Marcus Stoinis sees a silver lining #T20WorldCup…

Opining that Smith could conceivably make it into the playing XI of any other side in the world barring Australia's, Marsh said ahead of their contest against Sri Lanka in Perth:

"If you look down at our team, we have a pretty incredible batting line-up for a T20 side. With Tim David coming into the side we’ve gone hitter-heavy, which will become really important if we can get off to a good start on the Australian grounds."

The all-rounder added:

“(Smith) has been fantastic, for someone who has literally done everything in the game, has so much experience and in any other side in the world would be a walk-up start. We’re early on in the tournament, things can change, but for now we have a set XI and one that I truly believe in."

Smith has tallied 41 runs off his last four innings at a strike rate of 105. He was only part of two out of five T20Is in Australia's brief home season in the build-up to the T20 World Cup 2022.

"Once we get on a roll we’re going to be very hard to stop" - Mitchell Marsh

Australia are on the lookout to get their campaign back on track with a win against Asia Cup champions Sri Lanka.

The hosts are in a tricky place surrounding their place in the final four early into the tournament, with fellow group members New Zealand and favorites England already making their mark.

“I just don’t think we were prepared for what was going on.”…

Reckoning that Australia will be a difficult side to face once they find their rhythm, Marsh said:

"I think that we have a lot of confidence that once we get on a roll we’re going to be very hard to stop. We had so much cricket in the lead-up to the game, we had guys in and out, it was all about building to the World Cup."

Marsh concluded:

We didn’t start well but we have great self-belief. We know our best is the best in the world."

Australia are scheduled to take on Sri Lanka in their second group stage contest on Tuesday, October 25, at the Optus Stadium in Perth.

Will the defending champions bounce back in the tournament? Let us know what you think.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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