Copy of 2023-10-24T101723Z_1661969464_RC2373APG9KN_RTRMADP_3_CRICKET-WORLDCUP-AUS-NLD-1698149289078
Australia's Travis Head in action against South Africa at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom, South Africa last month. Image Credit: Reuters

New Delhi: Australia’s Mitchell Marsh on Tuesday said he will be “comfortable” to bat at No 3 if opener Travis Head returns to the team for their World Cup clash against the Netherlands.

Marsh comes into Wednesday’s contest in New Delhi fresh from his 121 in a 259-run opening partnership with David Warner against Pakistan last week.

The in-form Marsh has opened the batting in Australia’s four matches so far, contributing with a fifty and ton in the previous two victories.

The five-time champions lost their opening two matches.


Head, who broke his hand at Centurion in South Africa last month, has rejoined the team after rehabilitation in Adelaide and had a hit at the nets at Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium.

“I think that decision (of having Head in the XI) will be made this afternoon/tonight,” Marsh told reporters on the eve of the clash with the giant-killing Dutch.

“He looked good, a bit of range hitting last night. He says the hand feels good. So, I’m sure if he’s fit, he’ll be available for selection in the team.”

On slipping down the batting order, Marsh said, “Yeah, I mentioned to David Warner, maybe he can bat three, but I got a firm no from him, so that’s being sarcastic there guys!

“But yeah, very happy to go back down to three. I’ve obviously batted there a lot over the last couple of years, so I feel really comfortable at three. And if and when Head comes back in, I think that’s the best position for me to play for this team.”

The Netherlands stunned high-flying South Africa last week but lost to Sri Lanka in their next outing.

Afghanistan’s shock win over Pakistan in Chennai on Monday came after they had stunned defending champions England in New Delhi.

Tough challenge

Marsh said the level of competitiveness has brought the tournament alive.

“Teams have got better. I think that’s great for world cricket, certainly in tournaments like this that can sometimes be pretty long,” said Marsh.

“We respect the Netherlands; they’re playing some good cricket and that will be a tough challenge.”

Australia began the tournament with a loss to India and then went down to South Africa before they bounced back to be placed fourth in the 10-team table led by the hosts.

“We’re not in unfamiliar territory. We had a slow start and we were put under pressure at times, but the vibe is great,” said Marsh.

“We’ve played really good cricket the last two games and hopefully that’s the case tomorrow. So, there’s a big carrot dangling for us in a couple of weeks’ time.”