Mitch Marsh has admitted he wants to hold onto the white-ball cricket captaincy reins having recently taken over after the retirement of Aaron Finch. Next Wednesday, Marsh will become Australia's 12th men's Twenty20 captain when he walks out in Durban.
Marsh will also lead the one-day international (ODI) side against South Africa, with Pat Cummins no certainty to return from a wrist injury for the start of the five-match series. While Cummins is committed to leading Australia into the World Cup in October, he hasn't confirmed if he will continue after the tournament.
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If selectors opt to merge the roles and have one man in charge of both white-ball sides, as Finch was before his retirement, Marsh will be the clear favourite. He has captaincy experience, including taking over as Western Australia's leader at the age of 25.
In September last year, Marsh ruled himself out of the captaincy talk in a bid to focus on his own role in the team. Since then, Marsh has been reintroduced to the test side and has been in brilliant form in the white-ball formats.
And nearly a year later, Marsh has embraced the role as one the leaders in the locker room. "At that time I probably just didn't want to be spoken about," Marsh said on Tuesday.
"It honestly comes back to the relationship I have with Andrew and Patty, working together as a team. I've come a long way as a person and learnt a lot captaining Western Australia, having great people like (coach) Adam Voges and Ashton Turner around me to learn as much as I can.
"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."
Marsh admitted said he was now open to taking on the job full time as the team prepare to fly out Wednesday. "I'm available to captain for as long as the team needs me. We'll see where it all ends," he added.
Mitch Marsh's role as captain against South Africa
While Marsh normally performs with both the bat and the ball for Australia, it appears he will avoid bowling during the tour to keep his body ready for the World Cup. Uncapped quick Spencer Johnson, spinner Tanveer Sangha and allrounder Aaron Hardie will all be given a chance to push their case for World Cup selections.
Sangha and Hardie both featured in a preliminary 18-man squad named by Australia a fortnight ago, with a 15-man group to be finalised by September 28.
Marsh's reassurance comes as Glenn Maxwell reconfirmed his commitment to the team. Speaking ahead of the World Cup, Maxwell said his body is refreshed and is keen to continue playing for Australia until their is a suitable replacement.
"I'll keep playing as long as people will have me, until they think that someone is more deserving of my spot, which is fine," he said at the launch of Kayo's World Cup coverage on Monday. "Until then, I'll keep plugging along.
"I still feel fit, I still feel young, especially with the role I play. I still try to hit it to hotspots on the field, I'm not hiding at all."
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