Mitch Marsh speaks out after Aussie bowlers create ugly cricket history in T20

Australia have made some unwanted history across the last four T20 internationals.

Mitch Marsh, Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell.
Mitch Marsh has defended his bowlers after Adam Zampa and Glenn Maxwell copped some rough treatment. Image: Getty/AAP

Mitch Marsh has leapt to the defence of his under-fire bowling attack after they created some embarrassing history in the first T20 against New Zealand. The Aussies won thanks to a boundary on the final ball by Tim David, but they were made to chase 215 after a sub-par bowling performance.

It marked the first time in T20 internationals that a team has conceded four totals in a row in excess of 200. In the three games against the West Indies that preceded the New Zealand tour, Australia went for 202, 207 and 220.

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Adam Zampa has copped some extremely rough treatment over the last two games, going for 1-65 off four and 0-42 off three. His figures in the third T20 against the West Indies were the worst ever by an Australian bowler in a T20 international, and it didn't get much better on Wednesday night against the Kiwis.

Glenn Maxwell was also taken to town, with the normally stingy off-spinner conceding 0-32 off just two overs. Zampa and Maxwell were sensational with the ball at the ODI World Cup last year, and would normally always bowl their four overs in a T20 match.

But the treatment they received on Wednesday night forced Marsh to change his plans, bringing himself on to bowl instead. It resulted in Marsh picking up his first wicket in a T20 international since 2021.

Speaking on Thursday ahead of the second match of the series on Friday, the Aussie captain defended his bowlers and pointed out that the small grounds in New Zealand will always mean high batting totals. Marsh said he won't hesitate to throw the ball to Zampa in the second game at the notoriously small Eden Park.

"We always try to hold Zampa for one of the death (bowlers), but we couldn't get that breakthrough (in Wellington)," he said. "We always back Zamps in towards the back end. He's been incredible for us for a long period of time.

"We don't want to be chasing 216 too often. But on these grounds over here - on the great wickets, small grounds - we have to get used to defending or chasing 200."

Coach Andrew McDonald said the plan in Auckland would be to make the Kiwis hit to the longer boundaries square of the wicket. The long boundaries at Eden Park are easy to clear.

"We'll try to get them to hit to the long boundaries more often than not," he said. "Defend straight and get them to hit square. We'll keep it as simple as that."

Pat Cummins, pictured here in the first T20 between Australia and New Zealand.
Pat Cummins in action for Australia in the first T20 against New Zealand. (Getty Images)

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The last time the Australian men's T20 side played at Eden Park was back in 2018, when a David Warner-captained team captained broke the world record for a second-innings score. On that occasion the Aussies chased down New Zealand's total of 6-243 with seven balls remaining.

McDonald revealed on Thursday that Steve Smith is likely to come back into the Aussie XI after he was overlooked for the first game. The former captain appears little chance to make the team for the T20 World Cup later this year, but has a chance to impress on Friday.

The Kiwis will also make a change, with Trent Boult coming in for Tim Southee after arriving in New Zealand from playing in the International League T20 in the United Arab Emirates. "He's world-leading in some areas, in particular the new ball," McDonald said of Boult. "He poses a threat, swings it, creates headaches for the top order. I'm sure that the boys will be well planned for that."

with AAP

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