Recently Finished
Live Cricket
Upcoming Matches
View All Matches
Langer confirms Handscomb will face England in semi-final
Australia News

Langer confirms Handscomb will face England in semi-final

Justin Langer confirmed Peter Handscomb will be handed his World Cup debut in the important semi-final clash against traditional rivals England at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Handscomb was dropped from Australia's 15-member squad for the World Cup to make way for the returning duo of David Warner and Steve Smith from ball-tampering bans.

Handscomb was drafted in as a late replacement for the injured Shaun Marsh while Usman Khawaja's hamstring niggle flared up during his side's last league phase game against South Africa resulting in him being ruled out of the tournament.

"I'll tell you the truth: Peter will definitely play, 100 percent," Langer said on Tuesday.

"He deserves it. He was so unlucky not to be in the initial squad after what he'd done to help us get to that point.

"He's in good form, he's played well for Australia A and gives us that nice balance through the middle order. He's on top of his game."

Wicket-keeper Matthew Wade has also been included in the squad in place of Khawaja.

"He'll just come in as the official replacement for Usman Khawaja. Like everyone in the squad there's potential for him to play, definitely," Langer said.

"He's a real seasoned pro and he's had an unbelievable 12 months or so in domestic cricket. With his experience, if he plays, then we're confident he'll do a really good job."

Australia's injury woes were alleviated to an extent as Marcus Stoinis shrugged off fitness concerns following an intense workout session in the nets ahead of the blockbuster game.

'Barefoot walkabout was a good bonding exercise'

Langer also highlighted the importance of the unusual bonding exercise involving Australia's players walking barefoot at the ground on Monday in order to acclimatize to the conditions.

Also Read: Australia walk barefoot on Edgbaston pitch as they prepare to face England in semi-final

"It's a nice thing to do. Haydos (Matthew Hayden) and I used to do it as a bit of a ritual before every Test match," he said.

"It was just walking a lap of the oval with our shoes off. We could have done it with our shoes on and nobody would have said anything.

"If you go back 12 months there wasn't much to be relaxed and chilled about in Australian cricket, was there? We went through a major crisis in our cricket. It didn't just affect our cricket, it affected our country.

"We've got to work hard on being more humble in what we do and being focused on playing good cricket."