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Glenn Maxwell is still sore in the aftermath of his amazing double century and has been unable to train, leaving Australia’s selectors in limbo ahead of Saturday’s remaining group match against Bangladesh in Pune.
Australia will also consider including fast bowler Sean Abbott to rest one of their leading pace trio, given captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have played all eight matches so far in the tournament.
The match against Bangladesh has become a dead rubber, with Australia set to play South Africa in a semi-final on Thursday in Kolkata after recovering from two losses to win six matches in a row.
“He’s definitely been in full recovery mode the last few days,” assistant coach Dan Vettori said of Maxwell, who cramped so badly he collapsed at one stage during his innings and was forced to stay rooted to the crease for several overs.
“We all saw the effects of the innings and in particular the heat, so I think today [Friday] is a big day. Obviously, we’ve had a couple of days off, so there’s been no training. He’s not here today (at training), but we’ll just see how he feels as the day continues, but it’s obviously been pretty hectic from the last few days.”
A final decision on Maxwell’s availability will be left until just before the game, meaning that either Marcus Stoinis or Marnus Labuschagne will receive a reprieve from the selectors’ axe if Maxwell does not play.
Glenn Maxwell suffered from cramp throughout his spectacular innings.Credit: AP
Steve Smith will slot straight back into the side after recovering from vertigo, but if Maxwell is unavailable, it will leave Australia without a fully fit 15-man squad to chose from at any stage during their nine preliminary matches.
Maxwell’s breathtaking 201 not out in 128 balls lifted Australia from 7/91 to run down the victory target of 292 against Afghanistan last Tuesday. He hit 21 fours, bringing up victory and his double century with a tenth six.
Vettori agreed that Abbott was a chance to make his World Cup debut.
“If you take it all the way back to the start [of the tournament], to try and get those three fast bowlers through nine games and in a short period of time, we always presumed that would be a tough challenge,” Vettori said ahead of training.
“So Sean was always in the picture as a potential replacement for one of them, so I think that will come into the equation once again. It’s just weighing up how everyone’s come through these last few days, but I don’t think it will be a case of trying to play Sean in a game just for the sake of it. There’ll be a case of one of those three fast bowlers needs a bit of a break.”
The same approach will apply to Maxwell given his struggle to recover.
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