Australia coach Justin Langer feels Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja, who are more accustomed to roles higher up, are perfectly capable of adapting their games to suit demands of middle-order batting.
Both Marsh and Khawaja – batting at five and six – suffered untimely dismissals in the game against Pakistan, which ultimately contributed in Australia slipping from 147/0 to 307 all out. Although Australia won the game, questions were again raised whether the move to play the batsmen outside of their usual spots was a good one.
Langer, however, has no doubt in the duo’s ability to mold their approaches to suit the middle-order. He specifically pointed at Marsh’s ability to up the ante.
“[Marsh] is an unbelievable T20 cricketer – if you look at his T20 record, it’s unbelievable. And I thought Uzzie [Khawaja] played really well, like he adapted against West Indies the other day. It was a really different role for him. But I thought he did a good job,” Langer said. “Both of them got out – for them and for us – just at the wrong time. They both showed some good signs.
“Shaun Marsh is a very, very explosive player. I remember seeing him hit 28  off an over in the semi-final. You’ve got to be pretty explosive to hit 28 off an over. He’s been an incredible player for the Scorchers in Big Bash cricket, he’s a very explosive player.”
“Shaun Marsh is a very, very explosive player”
Overall, it’s been a good tournament for Australia so far with three wins from four games. What’s better is that Langer believes Australia haven’t even yet played their best cricket.
“I’m relieved. The best thing about it is we’ve got the points and we’re nowhere near playing our best cricket yet,” he said. “We’ve got four games in nine days or whatever and the boys are a bit weary already. We’ve got a really big game in the context of the competition at The Oval. But it’s nice to have the points without playing our best cricket, so that’s exciting.”