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T20 WC: Felled Australia to take it one game at a time

Champions Australia will keep faith in the 11 players who were humbled in their T20 World Cup opener against New Zealand as the hosts prepare to face resurgent Sri Lanka, all-rounder Mitchell Marsh said on Monday.

Australia lost by 89 runs in Sydney on Saturday, leaving their title defence on thin ice after the opening match.

With batsman Steve Smith and all-rounder Cameron Green in reserve in the squad, some pundits had called on Australia to make changes for the next Super 12 game against former champions Sri Lanka in Perth on Tuesday.

But Marsh said selectors would give the players a chance to bounce back.

“To my knowledge we’ll be playing the same 11 (and) hopefully stay the course,” Western Australian Marsh told reporters in Perth.

“The nature of the tournament, you lose one game, your back is up against the wall and we know what’s in front of us now.

“I think what’s important for us is to not look too far ahead. We’ve got Sri Lanka tomorrow night. That’s all that matters for us.”

Marsh said Australia’s confidence had not been affected by the stinging defeat to the Black Caps, which saw the vaunted pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood taken apart by the New Zealand batsmen.

He also said the champions would not be distracted by Faf du Plessis’s comments in an upcoming book that South Africa suspected Australia were ball-tampering well before the infamous Newlands Test in 2018.

Media have published excerpts of the former Proteas captain’s autobiography ‘Faf: Through Fire,’ in recent days ahead of its release.

Smith and opening batsman David Warner were among three Australian players suspended for their part in the ball-tampering scandal.

Marsh said Warner, who was bowled for five against New Zealand, would have no problem dealing with extra scrutiny.

“Any time we’ve seen him with his back against the wall, he always stands up for us,” added Marsh.

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