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ICC T20 WC: Australia cautious with Marsh, Stoinis ahead of campaign opener, Warner likely to miss warm-up match against India
Melbourne: Leading upto the ICC T20 World Cup 2022, Australia is still managing the workloads of all-rounders Marcus Stoinis and Mitchell Marsh to avoid any recurrence of injury ahead of their campaign opener against New Zealand and opener David Warner could get rest from his side's final warm-up match against India due to his neck issues.
Stoinis suffered a side injury back in September which caused him to miss both T20I series against India and West Indies. The all-rounder made his return during the home series against arch-rivals England and bowled in the first two games but played against batter only during the final washed-out game in Canberra. The all-rounder has been facing side problems since the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and has faced many related injuries and layoffs since then. Australia's medical staff has observed the recurrences of his problems after returning too quickly to match-intensity bowling in back-to-back games after a layoff.
As a result, skipper Finch explained that the side is being cautious ahead of the campaign opener against New Zealand.
"Stoinis, the reason he was not available to bowl yesterday was just prior injury history, every time that he has tried to come back and ball back-to-back games coming off the same injury he has struggled and got a niggle on the back of it. So we went with the conservative route there," ESPNCricinfo quoted Stoinis as saying.
Also, Marsh did not bowl in his matches against West Indies and England. He has not rolled his arms since injuring his ankle during home series against Zimbabwe in August.
Marsh though had a run through during pre-game warm-ups at Canberra and is hopeful of returning as a bowler in Monday's warm-up match against Australia.
"Mitch has been building up his bowling at the moment. He just has not been at the intensity to go into a game that is required especially so close to a World Cup," Finch said.
Bowling by Marsh, Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell provides plenty of balance to Aussies, which lets them play with seven batters and just four bowling specialists, with three all-rounders, who provide coverage as the fifth bowler. It provides a variety of match-up options to Finch.
Absence of Stoinis and Marsh's inability to bowl made Australia play Cameron Green leading up to the World Cup despite him not even being in the 15-man squad for the global cricketing event. He also opened in all the games, allowing Finch to slide down the order against West Indies and England.
In this way, Finch brought experience to the middle-order and Green was allowed to swing freely while opening.
Finch confirmed that he will revert back to opening during the World Cup and Warner will be his partner. But the veteran Warner may miss his side's final warm-up against India. He had also missed the final game against England due to a whiplash in his neck.
Warner suffered a whiplash while fielding on Wednesday during the second T20I. He was able to bat after suffering the injury but woke up stiff on Friday and was ruled out of the final match.
"I think he would definitely be right for New Zealand," Finch said. "I am not sure about the warm-up game against India. I think he was okay the day after he hit his head and then the following day, his neck got really sore and stiff."
"We will wait and see what it is like. If he is fit he will play. If he is still a little bit sore, we would err on the side of caution. I think when you have got experienced players who know what they need to do to be ready for a tournament, you are not too concerned whether they play that game or not," he concluded. (ANI)