Fitness test: Maxwell takes to the nets in bid to face Proteas

Manchester: Glenn Maxwell batted for almost an hour in the nets on Friday and appears set to take his place in the Australian side for Saturday night's World Cup clash against South Africa.

Maxwell was taken to hospital for scans on Thursday, having been smashed in the forearm by Mitchell Starc while batting in the nets at Old Trafford. The scans cleared him of any damage but he still needed to prove his fitness. That came on game eve when he had a long hit under the watchful gaze of coach Justin Langer and Ricky Ponting.

Glenn Maxwell has batted for an hour to prove his match fitness.

Glenn Maxwell has batted for an hour to prove his match fitness.Credit:AAP

"A lot better than yesterday," Maxwell quipped to reporters after his net session.

He later had a kick-to-kick of football on the field with his teammates, showing no signs of pain.


His good health means Australia could field an unchanged side against the Proteas in the final pool group match of the World Cup. Should Australia win, they will retain top spot and guarantee a semi-final against New Zealand in Manchester on Tuesday.

Shaun Marsh had surgery on Friday on the broken wrist he suffered while also batting in the nets on Thursday – the same far net that Maxwell was hurt in.

Marsh, who was injured when facing Pat Cummins, will remain with the squad for the rest of the trip.

Captain Aaron Finch said the events of a day earlier had been "one of those freak things".

"Shaun got a bouncer that sort of followed him a little bit. We always pride ourself on competitive net sessions. We think that that keeps you very sharp as a batsman in particular and it was one of those unfortunate things," he said.

"Maxy – the one that he got just didn't bounce quite as much as he expected, it hit him on the arm. So, yeah, it was no fault of anyone really. It was guys being competitive in the nets and guys making sure that each and every one is as prepared to play as… when required."

Finch was later delighted that Maxwell had emerged unscathed from what essentially was a fitness test.

Peter Handscomb, drafted into the squad as a replacement for Marsh, took to the nets on Friday as well and will be ready to play if needed. Handscomb, averaging 34.88 in 21 matches, had been with the Australia A squad, also in England, posting scores of 64, 28 not out, 57 and 0 in four 50-overs games.

He was unfortunate to miss selection in the original 15-man squad, having played well on the tour of India and against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. His spot – and role – was taken by Steve Smith, when the latter returned from suspension.

"If required, he will be 100 per cent ready to go. We saw how well he played in India and in the UAE," Finch said.

Glenn Maxwell takes a catch to dismiss West Indies' Andre Russell on Thursday.

Glenn Maxwell takes a catch to dismiss West Indies' Andre Russell on Thursday.Credit:AP

"I think being two-nil down against India, [it] doesn't get much harder than that… so I think the resilience he showed after a tough summer as well, and then tRead More – Source

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