CWC 2019: Justin Langer confirms Peter Handscomb's inclusion for the semi-final against England

In-form Handscomb wasn't originally picked and had been travelling with the "A" side in UK.

Peter Handscomb | Getty

Australia head coach Justin Langer has revealed Peter Handscomb will definitely play the much-anticipated World Cup semi-final against hosts England on Thursday (July 11) in Birmingham. 

Handscomb, who missed out on selection in the original squad despite fantastic form only because of the slated returns of Steve Smith and David Warner, got called up after Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja were ruled out due to injuries. The right-hand batsman was travelling along with the "A" side in UK. 

"I'll tell you the truth: Peter will definitely play, 100 percent," Langer told reporters in Birmingham 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."

The other replacement Matthew Wade, Langer confirmed, will also walk into the squad once the move is approved from the ICC technical committee. 

"He (Wade) will just come in as the official replacement for Usman Khawaja. Like everyone in the squad, there's potential for him to play, definitely."

"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."

All-rounder Marcus Stoinis, who was struggling with a back niggle, has been declared fit to play against the three lions. 

Meanwhile, Langer also gave an explanation for the whole Australian team being seen on a barefoot walkabout at the ground on Monday before the group shared stories on the pitch in a "bonding circle".

"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. 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," Langer added. 

(Inputs from AFP)


By Kashish Chadha - 10 Jul, 2019

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