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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

Former Australia batter Geof Marsh senior rings alarm on South Africa's Quinton De Kock

Senior Marsh is in India as part of a travelling group of sports lovers, Australian Sports Tours, to watch the semi-finals and final of the World Cup

Indranil Majumdar Mumbai Published 16.11.23, 09:11 AM
Former Australia batter Geoff Marsh at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday.

Former Australia batter Geoff Marsh at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday. Indranil Majumdar

Mitch Marsh has been Australia’s go-to man in this World Cup. The second-highest run-getter in the side with 426 at an average of 60.85 after David Warner’s 499, he has provided solidity at the top of the order.

In their last round-robin match, it was Marsh’s 177 not out off 132 balls that helped Australia successfully chase 307 in 44.4 overs.

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Pat Cummins’ men seem to have regained their touch ahead of the last leg but Geoff Marsh, Mitch’s dad, is a bit cautious ahead of their semi-final against South Africa at Eden Gardens.

“South Africa have been performing well. (Quinton) De Kock has been in tremendous form at the start... four centuries in one World Cup is no joke. If he gets going at the top it will be tough for Australia,” the senior Marsh, who played in the 1987 World Cup final at the Eden, told The Telegraph at the Wankhede on Wednesday.

“But we should also remember Australia have this ability to rise to the occasion and are a different team altogether in the knockouts. It’s going to be a close game and you can’t make any predictions.”

The senior Marsh, who played 50 Tests and 117 ODIs and formed an effective opening partnership with David Boon in the Eighties, is in India as part of a travelling group of sports lovers, Australian Sports Tours, to watch the semi-finals and final of the World Cup.

The group will take an early morning flight to Calcutta on Thursday to be present for the second semi-final.

Recently during a TV interview, Sunil Gavaskar had asked Mitch, “Didn’t your father ever teach you to play like this? Because all you’re doing is Bang, Bang, Bang.”

Undeterred, Marsh responded with a witty and lighthearted remark which left everyone amused. “I’m just making up for his poor strike-rates,” he quipped.

The senior Marsh said that he doesn’t discuss much about cricket with Mitch.

“I speak to Mitch quite often but it’s only on family matters. Nothing to do with cricket... Yes, he has done well and I let him play his natural game,” he chuckled.

Marsh felt Glenn Maxwell’s 201 not out against Afghanistan was “freakish” and refrained from terming it as the best.

“Max is a freak. A 200 in an ODI always has to be good. Moreover, he was struggling to stand and move around. He has always been a freakish player and the innings is a reflection of his talent.

“It’s got to be there at the top but there have been other good innings too. Viv Richards, Ricky Ponting, Virat Kohli... Quite a few.”

Marsh lauded India’s run in the tournament and attributed it to their “overall balanced show”.

“India have been stupendous. The batting is awesome. Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been very good. Shubman Gill has also been a class act.”

“The variety in India’s bowling is making the difference. (Jasprit) Bumrah and (Mohammed) Shami have been accurate and disciplined. They are quick and can put the best of teams under test...

“The attack is too good. Then there’s Kuldeep (Yadav) and (Ravindra) Jadeja who can be dangerous in all conditions. It will be tough to stop this Indian side.”

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