Steve Smith’s T20 future uncertain as Mitchell Marsh confirms Australia’s top three for the series against New Zealand

Australia captain Mitchell Marsh, on Tuesday (February 20), confirmed his team’s top three ahead of the first T20I against New Zealand. The three-match T20I series is scheduled to get underway on Wednesday in Wellington.

While Mitchell Marsh and David Warner opened the innings against West Indies earlier this month, the Australia captain confirmed that Travis Head would replace him at the top. On the other hand, the allrounder will be batting at number three followed by Glenn Maxwell.

With the top four looking almost settled ahead of the T20 World Cup, Steve Smith’s chances of cementing his spot in the team look highly impossible now. The former Australia captain was given a chance to open the innings for Australia in T20Is in recent months but he failed to capitalize on the opportunities.

The veteran batter was rested for the series against West Indies. Before that, he had opened the innings during the T20I series in India in November last year. In January, he also played one game for Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League but was dismissed for a duck.

Mitchell Marsh on Australia’s top three:

Speaking on the eve of the first T20I against New Zealand, Mitchell Marsh confirmed that Warner and Head will be opening the innings while he will be following them at no. 3. And when asked about Smith’s role in the team, he said:

“You’ll have to find out, we’ll announce our team at the toss.

“There will be certain guys that probably bat in different positions than they have done in the past, but ultimately we’re here to win the series.

“I’ve batted three for the last 18 months, so I’ll be there to start with. And obviously Heady and Davey Warner have been amazing for us over the last period of time, so I daresay that will be the top three,” he added.

Speaking further, he stated that Tim David would be the player for the No. 6 spot. The other middle-order option is likely to be taken by either Josh Inglis or Matthew Wade while Marcus Stoinis will also be in contention for the allrounder’s spot.

“I think players like Tim (David) are a rarity, and it (number six) is probably the hardest role within T20 cricket. We’re lucky to have him. He’s become a phenomenal player in that role and there’s no doubt he’s going to play a big part for us,” he said.

The upcoming series will be Australia’s last T20 assignment before the T20 World Cup in June.

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