Mitch Marsh casts doubt over Steve Smith role in T20 World Cup team

The World Cup winner is fighting for his position in the national side.

Steve Smith runs past Mitch Marsha and Steve Smith celebrates with the World Cup trophy.
Steve Smith could be in a battle to maintain his role in the Aussie T20 national side with captain Mitch Marsh suggesting there are limited positions available. (Getty Images)

Steve Smith could be in a battle to find a starting role in the Aussie T20 national side with captain Mitch Marsh hinting Australia's team is settled ahead of the upcoming series against New Zealand. The Aussies enjoyed a 2-1 series win over the West Indies this month with a number of major cricket stars rested after a long summer of cricket.

However, with the T20 World Cup in the US and West Indies approaching in June, Australia are set to use the three-match series against New Zealand as a competitive warm-up. And Marsh has thrown doubt over where Smith will fit into the starting XI.

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Marsh will most likely line-up at first drop for Australia with Travis Head returning to the opening role alongside David Warner. "I've batted three for the last 18 months so I'll be there," Marsh said in Wellington.

"Heady (Travis Head) and Davy Warner have been amazing for us over the last period of time, so I dare say that'll be the top three." Unfortunately for Smith, Australia's middle order appears settled with Glenn Maxwell coming in at No.4.

This is no surprise after Maxwell blasted the fastest T20 century on home soil against the West Indies in the second T20. Following Maxwell, the power-hitting of Tim David also appears to be locked in and his quick strike rate is an advantage down the order.

With either wicketkeeper-batter Matthew Wade or Josh Inglis set to come in at No.6, and Marcus Stoinis in the mix, Smith could find himself on the periphery this T20 World Cup. Smith will most likely have one last major audition in the New Zealand series with Cricket Australia set to manage the workload of the Aussie players.

And while coach Andrew McDonald said the team could experiment, Marsh wasn't too keen on anything but a series win against New Zealand. "Whilst we look ahead and it happens a lot ... especially in World Cup years, we're here to win the series," he said. "There'll be certain guys that bat in probably different positions ... but ultimately we're here to win."

Steve Smith and Mitch Marsh walk off the field.
Steve Smith (pictured left) is fighting for his role in the Aussie T20 team with Mitch Marsh (pictured right) set to come in at No.3. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images) (Matthew Lewis-ICC via Getty Images)

Marcus Stoinis under pressure ahead of World Cup

While Smith is in a fight for a starting role, Stoinis has also come under pressure. The allrounder will miss the New Zealand series following and injury during the second West Indies T20 match. And Stoinis would have been hoping to feature in the series having struggled with the bat in recent times.

He has only scored one half-century in his last 50 matches in all formats for his nation. In the T20 arena, the allrounder has now only passed 50 once for Australia since the beginning of 2022. This was against Sri Lanka in October 2022.

Matthew Short and young sensation Jake Fraser-McGurk are also waiting for their chance to crack into the team, which will place Stoinis on notice. The selectors may favour the allrounder due to his contribution with the ball, but he is no certainty to hold onto his starting XI role.

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