Peter Handscomb to play for Australia against England in World Cup semi-final
Batsman to replace injured Usman Khawaja for Edgbaston semi-final
Last Updated: 09/07/19 7:08pm
Peter Handscomb will play for Australia in Thursday's World Cup semi-final against England as a replacement for the injured Usman Khawaja.
Khawaja's World Cup has been ended by a hamstring issue he sustained in the 10-run defeat to South Africa at Old Trafford, a result that saw Aaron Finch's men drop to second in the table.
Australia will now meet England at Edgbaston, a venue where the hosts have won their last 10 internationals across all formats.
"I'll tell you the truth: Peter will definitely play, 100 per cent," Australia coach Justin Langer said of batsman Handscomb, who was drafted into his team's 15-man squad after Shaun Marsh fractured his arm.
"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."
Matthew Wade will take Khawaja's place in the squad - the 31-year-old recently struck two List A hundreds while playing for Australia A against Northamptonshire and Derbyshire.
"Like everyone in the squad there's potential for him to play, definitely," said Langer.
"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."
Langer also explained why Australia walked barefoot across the Edgbaston turf on Monday.
"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," added the 48-year-old.
"It was just walking a lap of the oval with our shoes off. We could've done it with our shoes on and nobody would've said anything.
"If you go back 12 months there wasn't much to be relaxed and chilled about in Australian cricket [after the ball-tampering scandal].
"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.
"It's not the first time we have walked around the oval with our shoes off, that's the truth, we have done it 15 times."
Watch Australia vs England live on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 9.30am on Thursday.