08 February 2020 09:23
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.
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.
"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.