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Mitch Marsh firms for T20 World Cup captaincy amid 'insulting' Pat Cummins move

Andrew McDonald says Mitch Marsh is in the box seat to captain Australia at the T20 World Cup.

Australian coach Andrew McDonald has confirmed that Mitch Marsh is in the box seat to lead Australia at the T20 World Cup in June. Since Aaron Finch's retirement, Marsh has captained the T20 side on multiple occasions, with Matt Wade the only other player to have led the team post-Finch.

Test and ODI skipper Pat Cummins is viewed as another potential T20 captaincy option after leading Australia to the ODI World Cup triumph at the end of last year, which followed a World Test Championship trophy. However, speaking after Australia wrapped up the Test series against New Zealand 2-0, McDonald said Marsh is his preferred option.

Pictured left Mitch Marsh and right with Pat Cummins
Andrew McDonald has confirmed that Mitch Marsh is in the box-seat to lead Australia at the T20 World Cup in June. Image: Getty

"That will be a discussion when we get home. I think all roads will lead to Mitch, so I've just got to get that ticked off in certain areas," he said. "We're happy and comfortable with the way he's been able to operate with that T20 team. We think he's the leader for the World Cup, and I think that will just be a matter of due course."

Marsh captained the T20 side to a 3-0 series whitewash over the Black Caps before the Test campaign and appears almost certain to captain the side in the tournament opener against Oman in Barbados on June 6. Before the New Zealand T20 series, Marsh said he didn't feel that he was on trial as captain, stating that he was proud to be handed the extra responsibility and that the decision on who should captain Australia at the World Cup would ultimately be made following the summer of cricket.

"I'm not auditioning for the role. I'm here to do a job," he said. "I'm very proud to captain Australia within the series and those decisions will be made over the coming months."

Australia's Adam Zampa (L) celebrates catching New Zealands Mark Chapman with teammate Mitch Marsh during the third Twenty20 cricket match between New Zealand and Australia in Wellington on March 3, 2021. (Photo by Marty MELVILLE / AFP) (Photo by MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images)
Mitch Marsh captained the Australian T20 side to a 3-0 series whitewash over the Black Caps last month. Image: Getty (MARTY MELVILLE via Getty Images)

Pat Cummins announced as captain of IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad

Many thought Cummins could be the man who would be turned to as the obvious choice to lead Australia at the upcoming World Cup despite playing in 52 international T20 matches and having never captained the Aussie team. However, he will have a chance to show his captaincy skills in the 20-over format after being unveiled as the new captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad for the 2024 Indian Premier League season last week.

The Sunrisers sent cricket fans into meltdown when they confirmed Cummins would be the most expensive player ever bought at the auction for $3.7 million and they have thrown extra responsibility to the Aussie quick. Cummins will take over as captain from South African T20 captain Aiden Markram.

Markram has captained South Africa in 20 international games and is well-loved among Indian fans. And cricket fans were not happy that he was being replaced by Cummins for the upcoming season, especially considering the Aussies less than stellar form in T20s in India.

The paceman has struggled with the white-ball during his time playing in the Indian Premier League. Across 42 games in India, Cummins has taken 45 wickets with an economy of 8.54.

Aussie cricket great questions Pat Cummins price tag

For a short period of time, Cummins was the most expensive player in the history of the IPL, until that record was soon blown out of the water when the Kolkata Knight Riders paid a staggering $4.42 million for Mitchell Starc. Australian cricket great, Jason Gillespie, suggested while Starc could be worth the record-breaking figure, he believes Cummins went for too much.

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"Pat's obviously a quality bowler and a quality leader, we've seen that ... I just don't think T20 is his best format," Gillespie told SEN Radio last year. "I think he's a Test bowler, personally. I think Test cricket is his absolute bread and butter.

"He's a good T20 bowler, make no mistake - but that's massive overs for me." Cummins' IPL statistics perhaps back up the former Australian fast bowler's worries, with the Aussie skipper taking just seven wickets in five games for Kolkata in his last season in the competition in 2022.

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