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Australia’s World Cup semi-final match against England on Thursday at Edgbaston in Birmingham will see the five-time champions going in with forced changes in their playing XI. After injuries to Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh, Matthew Wade and Peter Handscomb were included in the squad. The inclusion of the duo has triggered rumours that Glenn Maxwell might miss the semi-final against hosts, England. Ahead of the World Cup semi-final clash, Australia captain Aaron Finch came to the defence of his all-rounder and said that Maxwell is striking the ball nicely and there are runs around the corner for him.
“There’s runs around the corner. He’d like to have scored more but he’s hitting the ball nicely. We know how destructive he can be when he’s in,” Finch was quoted as saying by AFP.
The rumours grew, when Maxwell did not show up for a net session on the eve of the World Cup semi-final against arch-rivals England. Maxwell has struggled to hit peak form during the World Cup and there have been growing rumours he could be dropped for the Edgbaston semi-final.
Maxwell’s absence in Birmingham on Wednesday, increased the talk that Matthew Wade, called into the holders’ squad this week to replace the injured Usman Khawaja, could be handed an immediate place in the playing XI.
But Finch was keen to play down any suggestions that the usually big-hitting Maxwell could be axed.
“It’s a purely optional training session. You’re reading a bit too much into it,” Finch reporters on Wednesday.
“Maxi is someone who 50 percent of the time comes down to optional sessions. Most of the bowlers aren’t here, Davey (Warner) isn’t here. We’ll name our side tomorrow at the toss, as usual,” Finch added.
Though Maxwell has not been in good form with the bat, he has saved some crucial runs on the field for the defending champions.
“His contributions in the field are up there with most runs saved and he got a great run out at Taunton against Pakistan. And the overs he’s bowled have been really, really key overs for us too. What he brings to the game is a still very exciting package,” Finch concluded.
(With AFP inputs)