T20 World Cup; Australian squad finally comes together in the Caribbean

Australia captain Mitch Marsh admits his side’s preparations for the T20 World Cup have been “disjointed” but is adamant things will come together in time for Friday’s opener against Oman in Barbados.

Marsh, who said he would not bowl “early in the tournament”, was adamant the Aussies got what they needed from two warm-up games played with just nine members of the squad, with others only linking up with the squad over the weekend .

Three members of Australia’s 15-man squad played in the Indian Premier League final a week ago and have been given time to return to Australia for “a bit of family” before joining the majority of the squad in the Caribbean.

Their absence from the warm-up matches against Namibia and the West Indies required four members of the support staff, including head of selection George Bailey, on the field.

In the second match, the Australian bowlers conceded 257 against the Windies, which would have been a record number of runs conceded had the match counted officially.

With the squad now assembled, including first-choice players Pat Cummins and Travis Head with Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Starc, the latter on loan from T20 cricket during the IPL, Marsh said his team will be ready to “kick it off” this week.

“Things might look a bit disjointed at the start and I think most of the teams are in the same boat with the guys playing IPL or coming from the trade,” he said.

“But such is the nature of the beast of international cricket today. We come from all over the place to tour, and for the next few days we’re going to circle around, get together and get started.

“I think it is very important for us as a group and for them personally that the boys get a few days at home. Obviously it takes a few days to get here from Australia which means some challenges but they will be ready to go

“But yeah, for the guys who had the day off at home for me to come back and get a bit of game time, that’s really all I needed from those practices. So we definitely feel that we are now ready to go.”

Marsh said some time for those who have been in the IPL, which affected the opening, could help the Aussies at the end of the tournament, which is a whirlwind.

“We really value a bit of family time. The boys have obviously been to the IPL, which I think is a great preparation for the World Cup,” he said.

“And then, yeah, just the value of seeing their families and getting them in their bed for a night or two is very important. So, as a whole, we’re all excited about it, and it’s very easy to do.”

Marsh has left the IPL early with a hamstring that still limits his ability to bowl, which could mean fellow all-rounder Cameron Green becomes a key part of the squad.

“Yes, I will not bowl at the start of the tournament. As a captain, I always joke – I hope I don’t bowl late in the tournament either,” he said.

“But yes, I will slowly improve over the next 10-12 days and hopefully I will be available for them in the latter part of the tournament.”

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