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Saturday, October 23, 2021

Mitchell Marsh’s No. 3 success could force Steven Smith into middle order


The allrounder’s form over the last few months will make it hard to move him

Mitchell Marsh appears set to retain the No. 3 spot in Australia’s XI for the T20 World Cup after his success on the tours of West Indies and Bangladesh which will have a knock-on impact on where Steven Smith returns to the side.

Marsh was Australia’s standout batting star on the recent tours, scoring 375 runs across 10 matches, with the series in the Caribbean being the first time at batted at No. 3. They were missing a host of first-choice players for those trips with Smith, David Warner, Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis now all available again.

Maxwell’s outstanding returns in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore make a strong case for him batting as high as possible to maximise the time he has at the crease with No. 4 seeming the logical place. However, that would mean Smith, who has missed Australia’s last three T20I series, moving down to the middle order and since 2011 he has only twice batted lower than No. 4 in T20Is.


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