Cricket-Marsh expects Australia's all-rounder abundance to pay off in India

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Men's T20 World Cup Final - New Zealand v Australia- Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, United Arab Emirates - November 14, 2021 Australia's Mitchell Marsh in action REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Mumbai (Reuters) - Australia's Mitchell Marsh is confident the abundance of all-rounders in their squad will serve them well in India, both in the upcoming one-day series and at the 50-overs World Cup later this year.

Australia lost the four-match test series against India 2-1 but have been bolstered by the return from injury of all-rounders Marsh (ankle) and Glenn Maxwell (leg) ahead of the three-match ODI series against the 2023 World Cup hosts.

They have more all-round options in Cameron Green, Marcus Stoinis and Ashton Agar and Marsh said it augured well for the side ahead of the World Cup in October-November.

"The more all-rounders, the better," Marsh told reporters on the eve of Friday's series opener in Mumbai.

"For the balance of our team, having as many all-rounders in here as we can is really important for the structure we line up with."

The 31-year-old cited the example of white-ball world champions England.

"England have guys batting at number eight that are genuine batters.

"It gives you the ability to either set really big totals or chase big totals. You'll see that hopefully this series.

"Looking forward to the World Cup, just the way the cricket is played here in the white-ball format, you're going to have to chase big scores or make big scores to be able to defend them."

Returning from an ankle surgery, Marsh will play as a specialist batter in the ODI series against India but hopes to resume bowling in the Indian Premier League starting on March 31.

"I'm probably a month away, three weeks away, from bowling in games. I'll build towards the IPL.

"We've got a lot of (bowling) options in our team at the moment and a lot of cricket to play this year."

With regular skipper Pat Cummins staying back in Australia following the death of his mother, Steve Smith will lead the visitors in the ODI series.

With India skipper Rohit Sharma skipping the match for family reasons, all-rounder Hardik Pandya will lead India.

India batter Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of the series after suffering lower back pain in the fourth and final test in Ahmedabad.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Toby Davis)

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