Australia skipper Marsh fit for World Cup opener, but will not bowl

Australia's Mitchell Marsh celebrates after scoring a century (100 runs) during the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup one-day international (ODI) match between Australia and Pakistan at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on 20 October, 2023

Australia skipper Mitchell Marsh has been declared fit for their opening match at the T20 World Cup, but he will not be bowling, coach Andrew McDonald said.

The all-rounder headed home from the Indian Premier League in April with a hamstring injury and only made his return this week in two practice matches in Trinidad.

But he did not field for the full innings in either game, with a timeline on his bowling return still unclear.

"For Mitch, (the warm-up games) were about ticking off where his body was at," McDonald told in comments posted late Friday.

"He fielded more overs, he was able to move more freely, so he's building a little bit of confidence there. It looks as though he's all set for the first game.

"The second part is just when the bowling comes back online won't be the first game."

Marsh, officially appointed T20 skipper last month to replace the retired Aaron Finch, will head into Australia's opening World Cup match against Oman on June 6 in Barbados with limited time in the middle.

He made 18 off 14 balls against Namibia and four-from-four against the West Indies in their two warm-up matches.

His recovery is the main concern for an otherwise fit 15-man squad, which is looking to add the T20 crown to their one-day and Test world titles.

Pat Cummins, Travis Head, Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green all missed the warm-up fixtures after playing in the IPL finals and will link up with the squad in Barbados.

"We feel as though we have plenty of time to bring that group together," said McDonald.

"It's a familiar group, they've played a lot together. If they hadn't played a lot together then the prep might have looked different.

"It will just be finalising the XIs for the games, and the balances that we want. We've got plenty of options," he added.