Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh have been brought in as cover from the Australia A side, reports cricket.com.au, to join the main team in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 squad. The duo come in as replacements for the injured Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis before the knockout stages get underway.
Australia lost Khawaja to a hamstring injury and Stoinis to a side strain putting a serious dent in their preparation before the all-important semi-finals. The defending champions lost both players in the defeat to South Africa on Saturday in their final league game.
As a result, Australia were displaced from the top spot in the points table by India who had beaten Sri Lanka earlier in the day. With Australia finishing second, they take on third-placed England in the second semi-final on 11 July at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Though a final call has not been made on both Khawaja and Stonis — with both due to undergo scans on Sunday — the pair of wicketkeeper-batsman Wade and all-rounder Marsh have been called up as backup from Brighton, where Australia A were due to begin their first unofficial Test on tour, against Sussex.
After the defeat to South Africa, captain Aaron Finch had said, "Usman is not looking great in all honesty. He has done a couple of hammies before and it feels a bit similar to that. So in terms of replacements, we haven't had time to sit down and talk about that yet. Marcus is just a bit sore in his side. It's tough to talk about replacements when you haven't got the full story. We will get that (on Sunday)."
Khawaja had to retire hurt early in the chase but returned with a cameo to drive Australia close but not over the finishing line. The left-hander is likely to miss the remainder of the tournament. Marsh Jr., on the other hand, has come into the squad for the second time in the World Cup as cover for Stoinis, who suffered the side strain during Australia's loss to India before clearing the fitness test ahead of their Bangladesh encounter.
Australia has already had injury concerns with Shaun Marsh getting ruled out after breaking his wrist against a fired up Pat Cummins in the nets. Marsh was then replaced by Peter Handscomb in the squad.