In T20 World Cup 2021, he led his team to victory as captain, now he has become a 'villain' by dropping half a dozen catches

Orhan Wadia
Orhan Wadia - Editor
8 Min Read
In T20 World Cup 2021, he led his team to victory as captain, now he has become a 'villain' by dropping half a dozen catches

New Delhi. When 32-year-old Mitchell Marsh was appointed captain of the Australian cricket team for the T20 World Cup 2024, it was considered a 'master stroke'. There was a reason behind this. After Aaron Finch's retirement, the statistics of the two other contenders for the captaincy of the team in T20 – Pat Cummins and Steve Smith – are not very impressive in this format. Smith could not even make it to the Australian team this time. Another strong contender Pat Cummins has the achievement of making Australia the champion in the World Cup 2021. Despite this, if 'Patty's' claim was ignored and a bet was placed on Marsh, who is older than him, then the reason for this was that this all-rounder played an important role in making Australia the champion in the T20 World Cup 2021.

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However, this decision proved to be 'suicidal' for the Australian team. The team could not even reach the semi-finals. 'Mitch' Marsh is under fire from critics due to some miscalculations in captaincy and dropping more than half a dozen catches. The remaining deficiency was covered by his weak performance as a player. In 7 matches of the T20 World Cup 2024, he could score only 125 runs (highest score) at an average of 20.83 and a strike rate of 116.82. Despite being declared fit to bowl just before the Super 8 round, he did not bowl a single over. His fielding was heavily criticized. During the tournament, Marsh dropped more than half a dozen catches, some of which were very easy. This also included the catch of Hardik Pandya against India in the Super 8. Let us tell you, Marsh was the hero of Australia's title win in the T20 World Cup 2021. He became the 'Player of the Final' by playing an unbeaten innings of 77 runs in the final.

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Dropped three catches in the match against Scotland
Along with batting and bowling, fielding is the strong point of the Australian team, but in the T20 World Cup 2024, Australian fielders dropped 14 catches, Mitch Marsh being the biggest culprit by dropping 7 catches. He dropped 3 catches in the match against Scotland itself. In the crucial Super 8 match against Team India, Marsh dropped an easy catch of Hardik Pandya at backward point off Jampa's ball. Pandya was on just 4 runs at that time. This catch proved to be costly for the Kangaroo team. Pandya played an important role in taking the team past 200 by scoring unbeaten 27 runs with the help of one four and two sixes in 24 balls with his rapid batting. After the defeat against India in this match, Australia's math of reaching the semi-finals was centered on the result of the Afghanistan vs Bangladesh match.

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He was also targeted for his decisions during captaincy
Marsh's captaincy was also questioned during the tournament. Marsh's decision to include Ashton Agar in the playing XI instead of Mitchell Starc in the match against Afghanistan and to choose bowling first was not liked by some former Australian cricketers. The team batting second in the T20 World Cup has never won at the Kingstown ground so far. The pitch slows down during the second innings. Australia had to face defeat by 21 runs in the match against Afghanistan. Marsh was also criticized for giving preference to Tim David instead of all-rounder Cameron Green. David was given a place in the playing XI in all 7 matches but he could score only 61 runs at an average of 15.25. Green kept waiting for the opportunity while he could also contribute to the team with bowling.

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'Attitude' also angered the fans

Apart from failure as a captain and player, people also did not like Marsh's 'attitude'. After the team's defeat against Afghanistan and before the crucial match against India, Marsh's 'boastfulness' was not liked by Indian fans. Marsh had said, 'We have to win our next match and there can be no better team than India for this.' It is a different matter that the Australian team also lost against India and this defeat ultimately led to the team's exit from the tournament. After Australia's title win in the World Cup 2023, Marsh's photo standing on the winning trophy with champagne went viral on social media, which drew sharp reactions in India and across Asia. People termed it as Mitchell's arrogance. Cricket lovers believed that after winning, players kiss the trophy, lift it on their heads. It is not right in any way to get photographed by keeping it under their feet.

After Australia's exit from the T20 World Cup, Marsh is again on target. A fan wrote on social media, 'Australia had refused to play the T20 series against Afghanistan citing the situation, now Afghanistan has taken revenge by excluding it.' Another comment read, 'Australia was out of the World Cup because Mitchell Marsh was made the captain. This same Marsh had insulted the World Cup (ODI) trophy.' Funny memes are also being made about Marsh.

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He was the hero of Australia's victory in T20 World Cup 2021
Mitchell Marsh has played 4 T20 World Cups so far. In the final of the 2021 T20 World Cup, Australia defeated New Zealand to become the champion and Marsh was the 'Player of the Final'. He played an unbeaten innings of 77 runs with the help of 6 fours and 4 sixes in 50 balls. In the T20 World Cup, he has scored 446 runs (highest 77*) in 19 matches at an average of 29.73 and a strike rate of 130.02, apart from taking one wicket. In the 2016 World Cup, he scored 30 runs in 2 matches, 185 runs in 6 matches in 2021 and 106 runs in 4 matches in 2022.

tag: India vs Bharat, australia cricket team, ICC T20 World Cup, mitchell marsh, T20 World Cup

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