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Selector Bailey drops hint on Marsh's Ashes chances

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15th November, 2021
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Twenty20 form won’t count for much when George Bailey and his fellow selectors finalise Australia’s Ashes squad.

That doesn’t bode well for T20 World Cup hero Mitch Marsh, who had been touted for a Test recall on the strength of his tremendous white-ball performances.

The all-rounder starred during recent short-form series against West Indies and Bangladesh and carried that touch into the World Cup, culminating in his potentially career-defining 77 not out off 50 balls in Monday morning’s (AEDT) final win over New Zealand.

Bailey indicated on SEN Radio that it may not be enough.

“We joke internally that they’re different sports [T20 and Test cricket] in many respects,” the chief selector told the Dwayne’s World show.

“There’s not much flow-on, but the only thing I would say to that is you love to see players that are performing well internationally because you know that it gives them great confidence going forward.

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“And there’s no better time to pick someone [than] when they are up and about and confident.

“I don’t think necessarily that individual form in one format flows into another and I don’t necessarily think that winning the T20 World Cup gives us any great advantage heading into the Ashes.

“But there’s no doubt winning is a habit and it’s good to see.”

While Bailey described Marsh’s blazing knock against New Zealand as “the innings of his life”, he wasn’t overly keen to delve into the 31-year-old’s Test chances.

“There will be lots of time to talk Ashes and whatnot going forward,” Bailey said.

“I think it’s really important we celebrate the tournament and that role that he’s managed in that T20 team, and celebrate the fact that he’s an Australian hero for a day and he’s very much been a catalyst for holding that trophy above the head.

“I think the formats are so completely different. This is the internal and external expectations of everyone – we know Mitch is a very, very good player and he’s played Test cricket in the past, so we know that he’s capable of it.

“What I will say about Mitch is that we have full confidence that the next two, three, hopefully four years are going to be the best of his cricketing career.

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“Hopefully we get to see Mitch playing all three formats for Australia.”

Considering Bailey all but confirmed that Marcus Harris will open the batting at the Gabba in a radio interview last week, some may interpret his cagey comments as a hint that Marsh won’t be picked to face England – at least for the start of the summer.

But perhaps the biggest indicator came from Marsh himself in the aftermath of the World Cup final.

Marsh will fly to Brisbane from the UAE alongside Ashes locks David Warner, Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.

The hard-hitting right-hander said he expects to play in a three-day intra-squad match that will serve as the last hit-out before the Ashes starts on December 8.

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However, Marsh added that he hoped to represent Australia A against the England Lions “to play a bit of red-ball cricket” in a game that begins the day after the first Test kicks off.

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