Former Australian captain Mark Taylor feels the match against Bangladesh justified Australia’s decision to play Mitchell Marsh at No.3 and move Steve Smith down to No.4 in the batting order as well. After having a few low scores, Marsh smashed an unbeaten 177 off 132 balls to help his side chase 307 runs in the 45th over. It was Australia’s seventh consecutive victory after opening the 2023 World Cup with two losses against India and South Africa as well.
Speaking on Nine’s Sports Sunday, Taylor said, “I think after last night he (Smith) probably feels a bit better. Mitchell Marsh, before last night, to be honest at No.3 where he’s moved to hadn’t done that well, he’d only averaged 23 at No.3, Steve Smith averages 53. That’s why Smith was upset about being moved to No.4. But we saw last night … in those powerplay overs he is dynamic, Mitchell Marsh because he hits the ball and hits the ball hard.”
With the return of Travis Head, Australia played Mitchell Marsh down to No.3 and Smith came to bat at No.4, much to the latter’s dismay. Smith has a great record while batting at No.3 in ODIs with an average of almost 53 in 86 innings as well. Mark Taylor also felt Marsh’s change to his aggressive style of batting against Bangladesh helped him to smash the sensational knock.
“He had a couple of games where he started to try and nurdle it around like Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne,” Taylor continued. “Someone got a hold of him and said, ‘Mate, you hit the ball and hit it hard’ … that’s the way he’s got to play. Steve Smith and Labuschagne will bat down the order and they can do the nurdling, Mitchell Marsh at No.3 can hit the ball and hit it hard.”
However, it was Marsh’s second century of the World Cup where the first came against Pakistan. The veteran is Australia’s second leading run-scorer in the tournament behind David Warner, with 426 runs at an average of 60.85 and a strike rate of 109.51 as well. He also opined on Marcus Stoinis’ performance as well.
“Marcus Stoinis hasn’t done enough with his bowling or his batting. I like Marnus Labuschange in the side. I don’t necessarily like him batting with Steve Smith because they don’t necessarily complement each other, but I’ve got him in the team because he gives Australia an option if we lose a couple of early wickets. There’s also his fielding, last night he had two great run-outs and a couple of catches. He can make a difference in the field,” Mark Taylor concluded.