Star all-rounder Mitchell Marsh is set to rejoin Australia's Cricket World Cup squad in Mumbai on Sunday evening after flying back to Australia for personal reasons. The Aussie squad was rocked by the departure of Marsh before their crunch clash against England - securing a 33-run win without the 32-year-old to cement third spot in the group standings.
Marsh initially flew back home citing a "family issue" but it's since emerged that he returned home to be with loved ones, following the death of his grandfather, Ross. The Aussie players wore black armbands for their match against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in honour of Marsh's grandfather, who passed away in Perth on Friday.
Aussie officials have confirmed Marsh will arrive back into Mumbai to join up with the squad on Sunday and should be available for the team's next match against Afghanistan on Tuesday night (AEDT). The third-placed Aussies are now a game clear of Pakistan and New Zealand with a match in hand, meaning they only need to win one of their remaining matches to secure a semi-final spot, with Bangladesh to follow after the Afghanistan clash.
Marsh indicated when he flew home that it was only going to be a brief visit and vowed to return and help Australia win the World Cup. While his imminent return is a massive boost for coach Andrew McDonald's side, it also throws up a number of selection headaches for Aussie selectors.
Australia face a number of selection dilemmas
Glenn Maxwell is also expected to come back into the starting XI after falling off a golf cart and missing the England game due to concussion. Speaking after Australia's win against England, skipper Pat Cummins admitted the return of the duo would create some selection conundrums.
"Got Maxi and Mitchy who will be back in at some stage. They've had great tournaments so far, so we feel like we've got a whole squad who can walk out and perform when we need them to," Cummins said. "Everyone's desperate to play so we're going to be struggling to pick an XI next week."
Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis were the two men drafted in for Marsh and Maxwell against England, with the former impressing in his best showing with the bat this tournament. Green made an important 47 off 52 balls but conceded it probably wouldn't be enough to cement his place in the side.
"We want the best team out on the field and unfortunately I'm missing out," Green said. "We're playing some great cricket, winning five in a row, so we must be doing something right.
"I think they (Maxwell and Marsh) are straight back in. We're so excited to get Mitch back and then Maxi, I think it's an eight-day protocol (that ends) on the day (of the Afghanistan match) so I think he's all good to go."
Marnus Labuschagne was initially left out of the Aussie squad but earned a reprieve after starring as a concussion substitute for Green against South Africa before the tournament. The classy right-hander has played every match since and was the pick of Australia's batters against England - his 71 taking him second behind David Warner as the country's top scorers this tournament.
"He batted beautifully, we know how reliable Marnus is, especially when you go two down in the Powerplay and it was pretty tough at the start," Green added. "He is batting beautifully at the moment, ever since he came back into the ODI side since my concussion, he's looking beautiful. He's doing really well at the moment."
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