Faulkner out of Bangladesh World Cup clash

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Melbourne, Feb 16 (IANS) James Faulkner Monday ruled himself out of Australia’s second ICC World Cup clash against Bangladesh Saturday but the allrounder is moving ever closer to a return to full fitness from his side strain injury.

Faulkner said he has “no chance” of playing the Pool A clash at the Gabba Saturday and while he was feeling good in the nets, he was yet to attempt to bowl or throw, according to Cricket Australia (CA) website.

The 24-year-old could return for the Feb 28 showdown with New Zealand in Auckland.

Asked when he would be fully fit again, Faulkner replied: “That’s the question I’m asking as well. I’m not too sure, it’s been just over two weeks now (since he picked up the injury bowling in the ODI tri-series final). I suppose time has flown a bit but hopefully I’m back sooner rather than later.”

While Faulkner continues his recovery, Mitchell Marsh made a splash in Australia’s 111-run victory against England, taking five for 33 to go with 23 runs.

And while Marsh had been widely seen as warming the seat for Faulkner, the Tasmanian believes there’s room for both to play in the Australian XI.

“I don’t think we’re actually fighting for the same sort of spot, we’re different players,” Faulkner said.

“Mitch has always been a batter and his overs have been handy. I know he’s working hard on his bowling and he got some rewards the other day. I think we can both definitely play in the same team and we have a few games so far so there’s no reason we can’t continue.”

Faulkner deflected questions about Shane Watson, who was dismissed for a first-ball duck and bowled three wicket-less overs against England, pointing to previous occasions where the trio of allrounders had played in the same team.

“The beauty about the Australian set-up is it’s such a strong squad, it’s going to be hard for spots. That’s a great thing for Australian cricket and a great thing for the whole team, you’ve got to really be on your toes and when given a chance you’ve got to grab it with both hands,” Faulkner said.

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