Aussies make barefoot investment in Cup success
THE Australian cricket team have gone new age, shedding their shoes to soak up the positive energy from the earth as they formed a sharing circle in a pre-training bonding session.
Coach Justin Langer instructed all players and staff to remove their socks and shoes for the earthing exercise, which has been used by NSW State of Origin coach Brad Fittler.
Squad inclusion Pete Handscomb said the 30 minutes of pre-training bonding was aimed at getting "a feel for the ground, literally".
"You get a feel of the grass on your feet, a bit of grounding, the positive and negative energy flowing through and coming out of the earth," he said.
"There were some really good stories. It was just an open and honest conversation and it was great that some of the guys poured their heart out there about what it meant to get to the semi-final.
"What it meant to for them and their first memories of cricket growing up - it was really nice. It was great to see what playing in the finals means to this group."
Mitchell Marsh was photographed with dad, former Australian coach Geoff Marsh, and the World Cup trophy after the 1999 triumph at Lord's. Marsh told the group he wants to recreate that photo on the Lord's balcony after Sunday's final.
Handscomb recounted how he had played countless mock World Cup semi-finals in his backyard growing up, which was proof he was living the dream this week.
Langer has conducted the exercise at other venues.
"You do that lap (barefoot) and you can see all the different views from the ground and where you might be fielding and it gives you an opportunity to take it all in before it all starts on Thursday," Handscomb said.
Struggling all-rounder Glenn Maxwell then walked two laps of the ground in deep conversation with Langer.
It's understood Maxwell has been urged by coaches to leave short balls against England, even if that means soaking up dot balls, to help combat his weakness.
Handscomb is in a fight with Matthew Wade to replace injured batsman Usman Khawaja for the semi-final.
But England dumping offspinner Moeen Ali is set to count against Handscomb, given he is an excellent player of spin.
Handscomb averages 29.5 runs against pace and 41.6 against spin in his ODI career and it would be a surprise if England includes Ali at Liam Plunkett's expense.
Plunkett has been England's lucky charm - he was overlooked for the team's three losses, while England has won only once without him, against Afghanistan.
Ali (1/42 off six overs) was targeted by Aaron Finch last month and has not played since.