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08 February 2020 09:23

Royal Challengers Bangalore Rajasthan Royals 2019 Indian Premier League

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Australia's Peter Handscomb in, Marcus Stoinis fit for England semi-final- Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Marcus Stoinis will be fit to play in Australia's semi-final against England and Peter Handscomb will be in the XI as a replacement for Usman Khawaja, according to Justin Langer. Stoinis appeared to have recovered from a side strain he sustained in Australia's loss to South Africa and batted and bowled during Tuesday's training session at Edgbaston. "He looks good," said Langer after training. Handscomb initially joined the squad as a replacement for Shaun Marsh, who was earlier ruled out of the tournament with a broken forearm. Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh were also called in as cover for Khawaja and Stoinis, but Langer indicated that only Handscomb was likely to come straight into the team.

Peter Handscomb will definitely play, 100 percent" said Langer. He's in good form, he played well for Australia A, gives us that nice balance in the middle order. Australia's relaxed air was evident as they prefaced their training session by singing happy birthday to Austin Marsh, son of Shaun. The previous day the entire squad walked barefoot around the outfield, a practice described by some onlookers as a type of connecting or 'earthing', but the notion of any new-age ritual was shot down by Langer, who said it was something he would often do with his opening partner, Mathew Hayden. We walked a lap of the oval, we had a tough game against South Africa, it's just about staying as relaxed as possible.

He was stiff not to be on this tour, he was so unlucky not to be in the initial squad after what he'd done to get us to that point." Justin Langer "If you go back 12 months ago there wasn't too much to be relaxed and chilled about in Australian cricket, was there?" Langer said. Maybe we are a bit more relaxed but only on the back of playing good cricket and having had to work hard on that." While Australia's squad bears little resemblance to the one that was trounced last summer, Langer said he admires the way England have built a strong squad through continuity. They've got great continuity, England, and obviously have unbelievable confidence because they have played together for four years. It's always nice, England playing Australia in the Ashes or big games like this. Australia will likely decide by Tuesday whether Marcus Stoinis will be fit to face England or if Mitch Marsh must be brought into the World Cup semi-final.

While medical officials made the immediate call to rule Usman Khawaja out of the tournament and replace him with Matthew Wade, Stoinis is seen as some chance to recover. "Marcus has another strain in his side," Australia's coach Justin Langer confirmed. Stoinis' injury comes after he missed two games earlier in the tournament with a similar blow. Statistically, Stoinis hasn't had a big World Cup but he has played a crucial role bowling at the death for Australia. Marsh has already been taken to Birmingham as cover, after he also trained with the squad when Stoinis suffered his earlier injury.

He hasn't played an ODI since last January, but scored 126 runs without being dismissed and took five wickets 29.60 in Australia A's recent matches against English counties. "Mitch Marsh is our only other medium-pace bowling allrounder and that is like-for-like for replacement," Langer said. "He's been bowling as well, played four Australia A games in pretty good form with bat and ball." Usman Khawaja has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with the hamstring strain he suffered during Australia's loss to South Africa, the head coach Justin Langer has confirmed. "Ussie's got a hamstring strain so he'll be out for probably three to four weeks which is a real shame but we have to work hard on getting him up for the Ashes now," Langer said. Like Shaun I feel sad for him that he's going to miss the World Cup semi-final." Wade will be joined by Mitch Marsh, also called up from the Australia A touring party, who will act as cover for Marcus Stoinis.

"Marcus is the same, got another strain in his other side actually so we are working through that at the moment and we'll have to make a decision on him in the next 24 to 48 hours," Langer said. Australia's defeat by South Africa sets up England semi-final at World Cup Read more Australia's new squad member Peter Handscomb will be thrust into the cauldron of Thursday's World Cup semi-final against England as replacement for Usman Khawaja, coach Justin Langer has said. Langer also confirmed that all-rounder Marcus Stoinis had passed a fitness test and was ready for Edgbaston while refusing to guarantee the mercurial Glenn Maxwell a place in the team. With Matthew Wade in reserve after showing good form for Australia A, Maxwell could be dislodged by the former first-choice wicketkeeper. "He's played a lot of international cricket before, he's a real seasoned pro, he's had an unbelievable 12 months or so in domestic cricket," Langer said of Wade. "He deserves it, he was really stiff not to be on this tour," Langer said. "He's in good form, he played well for Australia A, he gives us nice balance through that middle order, he's got great temperament, he plays the spin well and he's on top of his game. Stoinis, who has battled two side strains, bowled and batted in the nets during training on Tuesday to be given the all-clear but Langer stopped short of saying whether he and fellow all-rounder Maxwell would make the 11 on Thursday. The champions, bidding for a sixth World Cup title, suffered a surprise 10-run loss to South Africa in their last round robin game, a defeat that left them facing a resurgent England rather than out-of-form New Zealand in Manchester. Marcus Stoinis will train at Edgbaston on Tuesday night in another desperate bid to keep his World Cup alive just two days out from Australia's semi-final against England. Stoinis suffered a second side strain in a month, this time to his right side, but is refusing to give up hope that he can be passed fit for what would be the biggest game of his life. While Usman Khawaja (hamstring) has already been ruled out of the tournament, Australia has not lodged paperwork to officially replace either him or Stoinis in the 15-man squad.