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Australia should make two changes to their semi-final against England, with Peter Handscomb coming in for the injured Usman Khawaja and Mitch Marsh replacing the out-of-form Marcus Stoinis.
Cricket Australia was very smart to make an Australia A tour through England with this World Cup and has now benefited Australia, which can evoke Marsh and Handscomb both in Great Britain – and both in shape.
In Australia's four 50-over games against county teams, Handscomb made 149 runs out of 75, with a strike rate of 101, while Marsh made 126 runs without being rejected, to go with five wickets at 29.
This is the team that Australia must face England
1. Aaron Finch (c)
2. David Warner
3. Steve Smith
4. Peter Handscomb
5. Mitch Marsh
6. Alex Carey
7. Glenn Maxwell
8. Pat Cummins
9. Mitchell Starc
10. Jason Behrendorff
11. Nathan Lyon
Handscomb is already in the Aussie squadron and was recorded on Friday as a replacement for Shaun Marsh, who broke his arm during training. Now Australia is confronted with the likelihood of finding a replacement for Khawaja, who hurt his hamstring in yesterday's close loss to South Africa.
The two obvious candidates are experienced batting all-rounder Mitch Marsh and veteran keeper-batsman Matt Wade, who is in a glowing shape with the bat.
Wade was cheeky for Australia A in the lone dayers, hitting 355 runs on 89, while scoring at a speed of almost 11 runs per over.
The crazy shape of the 31-year-old extends over all three formats, and was the second highest runscorer in both the Sheffield Shield and the BBL last summer.
He seems prepared to have an impact if he gets the call for the World Cup. Wade & # 39; s famous ball striking ability can appeal to the selectors prior to the collision against England, the fastest scoring team in the world. Maybe fight with fire?
If Wade were to start against England in the starting XI, it would be like a specialized batsman, a role that he filled in three of Australia's A matches like Handscomb held.
He would most likely replace one of Stoinis or Maxwell. Australia cannot afford to wear these all-round all-rounders in a knockout match against England.
Australia's middle order is currently extremely vulnerable due to the difficult efforts of Stoinis and Maxwell, who together had only 20 friends with the bat from their 15 innings in this World Cup. One of them must go.
Stoinis emerges as a risky proposition, which suffered from its second side variant of the tournament yesterday.
Choosing players with a dubious condition in a knockout game is always dangerous. It would be much more logical if it were an indispensable cricket player, such as spearhead Mitchell Starc.
But Stoinis has averaged 24 in the last 13 months in ODIs, there is no reason to gamble on his condition. That is especially so given the availability and good form of a nice like-for-like replacement in Mitch Marsh.
The Western Australian has been training with Australia A for a month now. He is a proven ODI batsman in the middle order and a better bowler in all sizes than Stoinis or Maxwell.
Another important selling point with Marsh is his excellent ODI record against the three other semi-finalists – England, India and New Zealand.
In 26 ODIs against those parties, Marsh scored 781 runs on 41 (strikerate of 101), while also taking 29 wickets on 25. Consistent in his ODI career, he was at his best against the strongest ODI teams.
There is also a risk associated with choosing Marsh that he has not played an ODI in 18 months. That is a risk that it is worth replacing a struggling all-rounder with fitness issues in Stoinis. Although I can see the appeal of watching Marsh in favor of Wade, who is in irresistible touch, such a move would leave Australia's bowling open.
Maxwin's spin was cleared against South Africa, but the bottom line is that he is not taking a wicket in the tournament yet. If he were the only correct bowling option in Australia to go beyond their four front lines, it would deprive them of crucial flexibility.
Having Marsh as an additional bowler would make Australia much better prepared for a range of different scenarios in the field.
Against England, the most attacking batting lineup in this World Cup, Australia cannot afford to bow light.