Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Usman Khawaja ruled out of WC with hamstring injury

Mitchell Marsh It is the second time this tournament Marsh has been called up to replace Stoinis
Sidney Guerrero | 11 July, 2019, 10:59

England pacer Liam Plunkett feels his team is a title favourite for a reason and fancies beating Australia who suffered an unexpected defeat against South Africa in their final league fixture.

Australia captain Aaron Finch insisted he was "excited" by their Cricket World Cup semi-final meeting with hosts England despite their 10-run loss to South Africa in Manchester on Saturday.

Australia's World Cup campaign, a successful one so far, has been repeatedly punctuated by injuries to their key players. "Such a pity for him he's been so integral to how we've been playing".

Khawaja helped get the target down to 25 off 12 balls before he was bowled for 18 by Kagiso Rabada.

Handscomb was called up to Australia's squad as a replacement for Shaun Marsh after the left-handed batsman broke his arm in a training session, though is likely to have to step in for Usman Khawaja - who has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a hamstring strain.

They attracted some amused reactions but for Langer, who has worked hard to rebuild the national side's team ethos in the aftermath of the sandpaper scandal, it is all part of a wider project.

Just over two weeks ago, it was Australia celebrating at Lord's as Jason Behrendorff and Mitchell Starc tore through England's batting order to seal victory despite Ben Stokes' valiant 89.

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But their loss was compounded by a problem to Usman Khawaja's left hamstring while Marcus Stoinis has aggravated a side injury which caused him to miss two games earlier in the tournament. "Like everyone in the squad there's potential for him to play, definitely", Langer said.

Their meeting earlier in the tournament at Lord's saw Australia prevail but England have since rebounded by beating India and New Zealand and Finch knows his side must regroup quickly.

It is worth mentioning that even Wade has performed incredibly well in the ongoing Australia A tour of England.

Coach Justin Langer instructed all players and staff to remove their socks and shoes for the earthing exercise, which has been used by NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler.

Australia will face England in the second semi-final on July 11.

History is not exactly on England's side, though, with their last Cricket World Cup win against Australia coming back in 1992 when Ian Botham stole the show, taking 4-31 with the ball and contributing 53 with the bat. "We wanted to go home with at least a small smile", Du Plessis said. It didn't just affect our cricket, it affected our country, so there wasn't too much to be relaxed about. "He's got good temperament, he plays spin well, he's on top of his game, so Pete will definitely play". We went through a major crisis in our cricket.

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