Manchester: Australia have called in wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh as cover for their injured duo of Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis ahead of Thursday’s World Cup semi-final against hosts England.
NO. 3 batsman Khawaja retired with a hamstring injury in Saturday’s defeat to South Africa and though he returned to bat later in the innings, he clearly looked in pain and may miss the rest of the tournament.
All-rounder Stoinis has been battling a nagging side strain for a while and was due to have a scan on Sunday to determine the extent of the injury.
“It doesn’t look ideal for Usman,” captain Aaron Finch said after Saturday’s loss.
“He’ll have a scan tomorrow and if we need a replacement — and I think we will — but until you get the definitive scan it’s hard to know.
“But it’s not looking great for him, in all honesty. He’s done a couple of hamstrings before and he said it feels a bit similar.”
Both Wade and Marsh were part of the Australia A squad, who begin their four-day clash with Sussex in Arundel on Sunday.
The duo had left for Birmingham to join the Australia squad, www.cricket.com.au reported. Australia had earlier drafted in batsman Peter Handscomb for the injured Shaun Marsh.
There is no doubt that Australia would have preferred a semi-final against New Zealand, leaving title rivals England and India to battle it out for the other spot, but they must now take on the hosts at one of their favourite venues.
“It’s going to be a blockbuster, it doesn’t get much bigger than Australia-England in a World Cup semi-final,” Finch said.
“Edgbaston is a beautiful ground to play at and the fans are always entertaining down there. It’s going to be a great atmosphere.”