mitchell marsh-1692702652472
Australian players, Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, celebrate after winning the final of T20 World Cup in Dubai in 2021. Marsh is set to start a new innings as skipper in shorter formats. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Melbourne: Mitchell Marsh said on Tuesday he will gladly captain Australia for as long as required as the all-rounder prepares to lead the Twenty20 and one-day sides on a tour of South Africa.

Marsh is stepping in for injured one-day captain Pat Cummins while Cricket Australia has yet to decide on a T20 skipper for the long-term following the retirement of Aaron Finch.

Being named captain of the limited overs sides continues a memorable year for Marsh, who got married in April and scored a century on his recall to the Test squad during the Ashes.

Crazy year so far

“It’s certainly been a crazy year. Throw in getting married, it’s been a good one,” he told reporters in Sydney.

“We’ll get through South Africa and see how we go.

“I’m available to captain for as long as the team needs me. We’ll see where it all ends.”

Important leadership lesson

Cummins, who also captains the Test side, is expected to link up with the squad in India ahead of the 50-over World Cup, which starts in October.

Marsh said he would probably not “try to reinvent the wheel” while captaining Australia for three one-dayers and five T20s in South Africa.

“I think the most important thing I’ve learnt about leadership is staying true to yourself,” he said.

“Hopefully, I’m a good captain. If not, I won’t be in the job for very long. That’s OK. I’m just looking forward to the opportunity.”

Potential debutants

Marsh is looking forward to seeing left-arm pace bowler Spencer Johnson push for a potential debut in place of injured regular quick Mitchell Starc.

Young leg-spinner Tanveer Sangha will also hope for a debut.

“Think there’s no doubt we are going to see them in Australian colours over the next few years and we’ll get a look at them in South Africa,” he said.

Steve Smith is among the tour’s absentees while recovering from a wrist injury, which he carried during the Ashes.

Smith on Tuesday revealed he had torn a tendon in his left wrist during the second Test at Lord’s, which had ended his hopes of trying his hand at opening in the T20 series in South Africa.

Cummins web
Injured skipper Pat Cummins will be missing Australia's tour of South Africa and is expected to link-up with the team ahead of the World Cup in India.

“It’s kind of the dream job. Everyone wants to open the batting in T20s,” he told Australian broadcaster Fox Sports.

“There’s not much accountability there, you just sort of go out there and play.”

Special one to watch

The new Twenty20 captain added that the “incredible talent” of uncapped fast bowler Johnson will make him one to watch in South Africa.

Left-arm quick Johnson, power-hitter Matthew Short and left-arm seamer Aaron Hardie have all earned maiden national call-ups.

Marsh said Johnson, 27, had hit form after a series of injuries earlier in his career.

Incredible talent

“We haven’t seen much of him because he’s had a lot of injuries and he sort of burst onto the scene last year,” Marsh told reporters. “He’s an incredible talent.

“I faced him in a one-day final and was blown away by his skill and pace, so I think he’s going to feel right at home.”