Finch backs Marsh to shine if Stoinis suffers injury woe - GulfToday

Finch backs Marsh to shine if Stoinis suffers injury woe


Australian players attend a training session on Friday, ahead of their match against Sri Lanka. Agence France-Presse

Australia captain Aaron Finch has backed Mitchell Marsh to shine if injured all-rounder Marcus Stoinis is forced to pull out of the World Cup.

Stoinis suffered a side strain in Australia’s defeat against India last weekend and was sidelined when the holders beat Pakistan on Wednesday.

He has already been ruled out of Saturday’s match against Sri Lanka at The Oval and his involvement for the rest of the tournament will be decided in the next few days.

“Stoinis won’t be available again. He hasn’t bowled yet in his recovery over the last couple of days,” Finch told reporters on Friday.

“So having four days between this game and the next game, I think that will be the ideal time to really test him out and assess him.

“But I think over the next five, six days there will be a call made on that, just based on what he can and can’t do.

“We’ve seen him batting and running, no problem. Just he hasn’t tried to bowl yet. Just waiting for the injury to settle down a bit more.”

Marsh is already on standby after flying to England to link up with Finch’s squad and the skipper has full confidence in the understudy.

He was due to travel with Australia’s A side to England this week but flew over a couple of days earlier as cover for Stoinis.

Marsh has played no professional cricket since March, while his last 50-over appearance was 18 months ago.

But if Cricket Australia does decide to trigger a formal request to remove Stoinis then Finch backs Marsh to be ready to face Bangladesh next Thursday.

“The short answer is yes. There is confidence that Mitch will come in and do well if selected, if Stoinis doesn’t recover properly,” he said.

Despite three wins from their opening four games, Finch admits Australia have yet to hit top form.

“I don’t think we’ve gone anywhere near our best, which is still a good thing, that we’ve got six points on the board while not playing anywhere near our best cricket,” he added.

“But as long as we’re improving, and continue to go up and not go backwards, I think that’s the key.”

Meanwhile, On the other hand, Sri Lanka, have four points from four games, which includes two washouts.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka team manager Ashantha de Mel claimed the International Cricket Council have given certain World Cup teams preferential treatment at the expense of his side.

Launching an angry attack on the ICC ahead of Sri Lanka’s match against holders Australia on Saturday, De Mel blasted the quality of pitches, practice facilities, transport and accommodation at the World Cup in England and Wales.

“This is a World Cup where the top ten countries are taking part and I feel that all the participants should be treated equally,” De Mel was quoted as saying by Sri Lankan newspaper Daily News on Friday.

“The pitch being prepared for our match against Australia on Saturday here at the Oval is green. It is not sour grapes that we are complaining but it is very unfair on the part of the ICC that they prepare one type of wicket for certain teams and another type for others.”

De Mel criticised Sri Lanka’s team bus, saying it was more cramped than the double-decker vehicles provided to other teams.

He also slammed the net facilities at Cardiff as “unsatisfactory” and the squad’s hotel in Bristol, which lacks a swimming pool.

He added that the World Cup’s timing, it runs from May 30 to July 14, suggested the ICC valued the Ashes Test series between England and Australia — which is scheduled to follow the World Cup — more than the flagship one-day competition.

But the ICC refuted De Mel’s claims about the pitches and said they worked with all teams equally in a bid to ensure fair treatment.

“We employ an independent pitch advisor to work with the host curators at all ICC events and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 is no different,” an ICC statement read.

“We are happy with the wickets that have been produced across the event so far in English conditions.

“As part of the four year planning process to deliver this event, we have liaised with all teams to ensure they are happy with their set up and are available to work with them should any issues arise that have not been previously anticipated.

“At the heart of our planning is the philosophy that all ten teams are treated equally to enable them to have the best possible preparation for the event.”

Sri Lanka lost to New Zealand in their first World Cup match, then beat Afghanistan before successive games against Bangladesh and Pakistan were washed out.


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