Australia have started to feel the pressure in the ongoing 2019 World Cup. After a thumping start to their title defence that saw them beat Afghanistan and West Indies, the holders suffered their first defeat of the World Cup when India outplayed them at The Oval on Sunday.
And the five-time winners have now suffered yet another setback as their star allrounder Marcus Stoinis is out of the clash against Pakistan due to an injury. There are also chances of him getting ruled out of the entire tournament as Australia have called Mitchell Marsh as cover.
Stoinis suffered a side strain during the 36-run defeat at the hands of India. Prior to that, he had a poor outing on the field. With the ball, he had conceded 62 runs although he managed to take two wickets including a superb catch off his own bowling to dismiss MS Dhoni. With the bat, he failed to even open his account as Australia suffered their first loss of the tournament. The game against India might turn out to be Stoinis’ last of the tournament.
Australia have called back Marsh as a cover for the upcoming clash. With no second all-rounder in the squad, the defending champions face a tough call. For the time being, Stoinis has not been officially replaced in the squad. ICC rules allow an injured player to be replaced, but they cannot later rejoin the squad if they regain full fitness. And thus if Marsh is named as Stoinis’ replacement, the latter cannot participate in the competition anymore. Thus, Australia face a tough call.
Very critical time for Mitchell Marsh
In the meanwhile, Marsh was set to travel to the UK later this week with the Australia A side. Australia A side will play 50-over games with the county teams as well as red-ball cricket in order to get ready for the Ashes that starts after the conclusion of the World Cup. Marsh has completely fallen down the pecking order especially in ODIs and had last played an ODI in January last year. Earlier this year, Marsh was dropped from Australia’s list of contracted players for the 2019-20 season.
In case, he gets an opportunity to play in the World Cup, he would be looking to hit the ground running in order to win back his place. He, however, looks unlikely to play against Pakistan even if he replaces Stoinis. Australia are likely to include his elder brother Shaun Marsh in the eleven.