If the defeat against South Africa leading up to the knockouts wasn’t enough for the five-time champions, they are facing major injury concerns in the form of Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis. The selectors have been forced to call in further reinforcements in the form of Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh from Australia A squad.
Australia suffered a narrow defeat to South Africa at Manchester on Saturday, leaving them a monumental task to upstage a rampaging England at the second semi-final at Edgbaston on Thursday. The injury concerns to two of their key players in the starting XI gives them further headaches after their middle-order subsided in the loss to South Africa.
Big blow for Australia:
Usman Khawaja walked out to bat in the third over of the Australian innings at the dismissal of Aaron Finch. However, he could face just the five deliveries before a hamstring injury forced him to retired hurt. The hamstring injury is likely to rule out the left-hander out of their remaining World Cup fixtures. Khawaja did come out to bat at the departure of Alex Carey; however, the match had almost been out of Australia’s grasp by then.
Wade is in fine form in the domestic circuit:
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who missed two games earlier in the tournament, has again suffered a side strain. He passed the fitness test ahead of the match against Bangladesh, nevertheless remains under the scanner. It is the third injury concern for the defending champions, after Mitchell Starc stuck Shaun Marsh on the arm, forcing to give Peter Handscomb a recall. Spin- bowling all-rounder Glenn Maxwell had also been under the injury cloud but got cleared ahead of the encounter against the Proteas.
It is worth mentioning that Wade has been in blistering touch, hammering 355 runs in four one-day innings for Australia A, including a century off 45 balls against Derbyshire. Mitchell Marsh is acting more of a consolidator in the middle-order, posting decent scores of 40, 29, 53, and 4 in the four consecutive victories.