Cricket-Australia's Marsh to make batting return against West Indies


FILE PHOTO: Cricket - First One Day International - England v Australia - Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester - September 11, 2020 Australia's Mitchell Marsh in action. Pool via REUTERS/Shaun Botterill

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh is set to return at number three in the first T20 World Cup warm-up against West Indies on Wednesday but will be spared bowling duties as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury.

Marsh's return is good news for defending champions Australia in the lead-up to the Oct. 16 to Nov. 13 World Cup given Marcus Stoinis is still nursing a side strain.

Captain Aaron Finch said Stoinis remained on track to play against England in Perth on Sunday in the first of three T20Is.

"He's at a level where we think that he'll be fully fit for that first game against England," Finch told reporters on the Gold Coast on Tuesday.

"We were just conscious of the travel with a quick turnaround.

"It can be quite a high-risk game for some guys with some soft tissue injuries so he's just still planning and preparing there."

Should Stoinis and Marsh prove their fitness over the next couple of weeks, Finch said it was unlikely that exciting young all-rounder Cameron Green would play a part at the World Cup.

"I don't think so. It's just one of those things," said Finch.

Green was not included in Australia's experienced 15-man World Cup squad but travelled with the group to India where he scored half-centuries opening the batting in two out of the three T20Is.

"He had a really good tour of India. It was good for him to get an opportunity to open the batting so he'll get more opportunities," said Finch.

Opener David Warner, who was rested from the India tour, will return against West Indies but Green could still feature in the two-match series given the injury-hit bowling stocks.

"It's never easy when you're trying to balance up the side, particularly when the all-rounders aren't fully fit at the moment," Finch said.

"So that gives us an opportunity to keep tinkering with the squad.

"We feel as though we've got our best 11 in the back of our mind, but it's just not everyone's 100% fit at the moment."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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