ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Handscomb in, Maxwell no certainty: Langer
Peter Handscomb will play Thursday's World Cup semi-final as Marcus Stoinis passes a fitness test, while Matthew Wade could be a shock late inclusion in the XI
Louis Cameron in Birmingham
10 July 2019, 10:28 AM AEST
Peter Handscomb will make his World Cup debut, Marcus Stoinis is fit to play despite carrying two side injuries and Justin Langer has refused to guarantee Glenn Maxwell's spot as Australia steel themselves for their biggest one-day game in four years.
Matthew Wade is also in contention to play at Edgbaston on Thursday as the reigning 50-over champions look to overcome injury and defeat England's formidable ODI side.
Stoinis looks likely to retain his spot in Australia's middle order for the semi-final on Thursday (7.30pm AEST Kayo, Fox Cricket, Nine) after passing a fitness test with flying colours two days out from the knockout clash.
The allrounder appeared uninhibited at a combative training session on Tuesday, bowling for around 30 minutes at full pace before batting for more than an hour.
"He looks good," said coach Justin Langer. "It was a very good net session actually, there was a bit of heat again, it was very competitive and that always brings the best out in Stoin. He did a good job today and he's fit to go."
But Langer was coy when quizzed further on the XI, specifically on whether Stoinis and Maxwell would play, saying only: "We'll pick our 11 and you'll see it at the toss."
Langer has previously said Maxwell needs to work on playing short-pitched bowling.
The right-hander, who has been out to bouncers in each of his last three innings, was peppered by short balls at training on Tuesday by speedsters Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins only days after Starc pinned him with a lifter in the nets in Manchester.
England speedsters Jofra Archer and Mark Wood aren't shy about taking a look upstairs either; they have more wickets from short-pitched balls than any other bowlers at the tournament with 10 and six scalps, respectively.
And while fellow quick Liam Plunkett said Maxwell wouldn't be a particular target, he doesn't expect they'll hold back either.
"Generally, our quick bowlers will bowl short balls anyway no matter who's batting, it's not something we specifically target," said Plunkett.
"It depends on the situation of the game, but I'm sure he'll get a few like he does in any game, like any other batsman does."
Maxwell's strike-rate is among the highest at the tournament, while Stoinis has played a key role with the ball at various stages, but the pair have collectively averaged a tick over 20 with the bat.
Wade, who is set to replace Usman Khawaja in Australia's official 15-man squad, looms as a potential late inclusion having carried over his devastating form from last summer into the 'A' tour with 355 runs at 88.75 including two centuries.
"He's played a lot of international cricket before, he's a real seasoned pro, he's had an unbelievable 12 months or so in domestic cricket," Langer said of Australia's former first-choice wicketkeeper across all three formats.
"He's had an unbelievable few (games) for Australia A. He's confident, he's had a little baby (named Goldie Hue Wade, born June 12) so he's pretty happy with life at the moment.
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"With his experience, if he plays, then we're confident he'll do a really good job."
Langer guaranteed Handscomb's spot in the XI after he was brought into the squad for the injured Shaun Marsh last week, with the right-hander well versed with this ODI side.
Handscomb, fresh off 149 runs at 74.50 for Australia A in recent one-day games, played in all 13 of Australia's ODIs leading into the World Cup before Steve Smith replaced him.
"He deserves it, he was really stiff not to be on this tour," Langer said of Handscomb. "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 played well for Australia A, he gives us nice balance through that middle order, he's got great temperament, he plays the spin well and he's on top of his game. So he'll definitely play."
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
June 12: Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs
June 15: Australia beat Sri Lanka by 87 runs
June 20: Australia beat Bangladesh by 48 runs
June 25: Australia beat England by 64 runs
July 14: Final, Lord's
Sync Australia's World Cup schedule to your calendar HERE
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE