T20 World Cup 2022: "I don’t think that he'll be starting in the XI" - George Bailey hints at Steve Smith's exclusion from New Zealand game

Australia v West Indies - T20I Series: Game 1
Steve Smith will likely miss the opening match against New Zealand. (Credits: Getty)

Cricket Australia (CA) chief selector George Bailey has suggested Steve Smith's omission for the Aussies' opening match of the T20 World Cup against New Zealand on Saturday, October 22, in Sydney. However, he feels the former Australian skipper will have a role to play at some stage of the tournament.

While Smith is a vital cog in Australia's Test and ODI set-up, his T20I numbers are not that great. The 33-year-old, who has scored only four fifties in 62 games, has managed to reach double figures only twice in his last four T20I innings.

As a result, Australia are likely to play Tim David in place of Smith against the Kiwis.

Bailey was quoted as saying by Fox Sports:

"Yeah absolutely I think all the members of our 15 have a role to play. I don’t think that he'll be starting in the XI for Steve, but I certainly think should we need a role at some stage from him, absolutely he can."

The 40-year-old went on to confirm that David Warner will feature in Saturday's clash against New Zealand, having recovered from a neck injury. Bailey added:

"I think he’s fine. I think regardless of the neck, I don’t think it was ever in our plans for David to play yesterday."

Aaron Finch and Co. also lost their warm-up game against India by six runs on Monday, October 17. Smith managed just 11 runs off 12 balls

"I think he’s hit all the markers that he wanted to" - George Bailey on Mitchell Marsh

George Bailey. (Image Credits: Getty)
George Bailey. (Image Credits: Getty)

Bailey also assured Mitchell Marsh's availability as a bowler against New Zealand as he bowled with good intensity in the nets. He added in this regard:

"I don’t think it’s any secret that our all-rounders are an important part of our structure. I think he bowled 20-30 balls with pretty good intensity in the nets yesterday.
"I think he’s hit all the markers that he wanted to but given the importance of that structure it’s not something that we wanted to risk too early, but fully expect Mitch to be available and ready to go whether that’s Saturday or game two but confident that’ll work."

Marsh was the Player of the Match in the 2021 T20 World Cup final against the Kiwis, hitting 77 off 50 deliveries.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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