Sydney: Australian great Ian Healy believes that Mitchell Marsh has earned his ticket to be in the squad for the Ashes series beginning at the Gabba on December 8, following his commanding performance in the ICC T20 World Cup, and especially in the final against New Zealand on Sunday night.

Marsh, who was adjudged ‘Player of the Match’ in Australia’s eight-wicket win over the Black Caps, bludgeoned the Kiwi bowling attack, scoring 77 off 50 deliveries to singlehandedly take the game away from their Trans-Tasman rivals.

Marsh made 185 runs at an average of 62 in the UAE.

Former Australian wicketkeeper-batter Healy feels Marsh could help remedy Australia’s right-hander conundrum. “I reckon he’s right up there,” Healy told SEN 1170 Breakfast on Monday. “I’d have the number five spot in the Ashes for him, if he can get back and demonstrate any sort of red-ball ability and his form line continuing, I’m having him in.

“We need an extra right-hander in there I reckon and he’s the man. I’d have him in there, so that’s how highly I think of him,” added Healy.

However, another cricketing great and former Australia skipper Ian Chappell is more reserved in his assessment, saying that white-ball cricket was totally different from red-ball cricket. Chappell, however, said that Marsh should be considered.

“How to you extrapolate form in 20-over cricket into the longer form of the game?” Chappell asked. “Other players have had the Sheffield Shield in Australia to get some form and some runs on the board whereas Mitch hasn’t had that opportunity. He’s an experienced player and he’s had success in Test cricket and particularly Ashes cricket before, so I think the selectors will consider it.

“They’ll sit down and figure out what the best make-up of the team is, you mentioned Cameron Green, Mitch is an all-rounder or at least a batsman that can give you quality overs. I think Cameron showed last summer that there’s quite a bit of potential there and he’s in reasonable form for Western Australia. The selectors will probably spend more time on the last two places of the team compared to the first nine places.”

The 30-year-old Marsh last played a Test in 2019, where he bagged a five-wicket haul against England at The Oval.

However, Australia’s chairman of selectors George Bailey reckons that although Marsh was brilliant in the final of the T20 World Cup 2021 and had a pretty decent tournament, it is highly unlikely it is going to have any bearing on his Ashes selection this summer. Bailey feels that T20 performance doesn’t merit a spot in the Test side and the two formats are poles apart from each other and required different kinds of skill set to be able to claim a spot at the longest format of the game.

“Not much, to be honest. They’re (T20s and Tests) about as far removed, we joke internally that they’re different sports in many respects,” Bailey told SEN’s Dwayne’s World on Monday.

“There’s not much flow on, (but) you love to see players perform well internationally because you know it gives them great confidence going forward, and there’s no better time to pick someone than when they are up and about and confident. I don’t think necessarily that individual form in one format flows into another, and I don’t necessarily think that winning the T20 World Cup gives us any great advantage heading into the Ashes,” Bailey opined.

Marsh has played 32 Tests but has been unable to cement his place in the side, averaging 25 in the format. On the bowling side, he averages 39, which is the worst across the three formats.

“We’re 12 hours since he played the innings of his life in T20 (World Cup), there will be lots of time to talk Ashes going forward. I think it’s really important that we celebrate the tournament and the role he’s played in that team, and celebrate the fact that he’s an Australian hero for a day and he’s very much a catalyst behind us holding the trophy above our heads. As I said, I think the formats are so completely different,” added Bailey.

But Bailey is not willing to shut the Test doors on Marsh, saying that he has a good three-four years of cricket ahead of him.

“We know Mitch is a very, very good player and he’s played Test cricket in the past, so we know he’s capable of it. What I can say about Mitch is that we have full confidence that the next two, three and hopefully four years are going to be the best cricketing years of his career, so hopefully, we get to see him playing all three formats for Australia,” added Bailey, who took over as chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns this August.

(With IANS Inputs)