Travis Head's message to South African bowler before Cricket World Cup semi-final

The Aussie batter has dared the bowler who broke his hand to target him again.

Pictured Gerald Coetzee and Travis Head

Travis Head has dared the South African paceman who broke his hand to target him again when the sides meet in the World Cup semi-final. The Aussie batsman missed Australia's first five games in India after a Gerald Coetzee short ball struck his hand during the fourth ODI of the sides' series in September.

The opener has had an up-and-down World Cup since returning to the side, making 109 runs in a crucial win over New Zealand in his first game back but since has only averaged seven runs in three innings. Speaking ahead of the semi-final clash with the Proteas, Head welcomed the Coetzee challenge.

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"Go for it," Head said, speaking on Coetzee potentially targeting him. "He's taken the most wickets for them but has missed a couple of games so it'll be interesting to see what kind of make-up they go with. I don't think that (the injury) will be in their mind."

Coetzee is the highest wicket-taker for South Africa at the tournament with 18 wickets at 19.28. Proteas all-rounder Marco Jansen closely follows on the wickets tally with 17 at 24.41 and Kagiso Rabada has also chipped in with 12 wickets, as many as Australia's leading paceman Josh Hazlewood.

"They're a very confident bowling attack," Head said. "They're a very skilful bowling attack so I don't think I'll be targeted any certain way. I think they'll think their skill set is good enough to get me out. I'll back my skill set against theirs and we'll see how we go."

South Africa's Gerald Coetzee (L) pats Australia's Travis Head (C) on the back as Head leaves the field due to an injury during the fourth one-day international (ODI) cricket match between South Africa and Australia at SuperSport Park in Centurion on September 15, 2023. (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE / AFP) (Photo by PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images)
The Aussie batsman has missed Australia's first five games in India after a Gerald Coetzee short ball struck his hand during the fourth ODI of the sides' series in September. Image: Getty

Wild weather threatens to rain on Australia's World Cup parade

The Aussies will head into Thursday night's (AEDT) showdown against South Africa full of confidence after winning seven straight matches since their defeat to the Proteas in their second group game of the tournament. However, Australia's World Cup semi is being threatened by wild weather, with the toss potentially tournament-defining for skipper Pat Cummins.

Progress into Sunday night's final could ultimately be taken out of their hands, with forecast storms emerging as a potential threat to Australia's hopes. The match is being played in Kolkata, where there is a 60 per cent forecast chance of rain on the day of the match and a weather system moving in that has the potential to develop into cyclonic conditions.

If the weather were to take a turn for the worse, there is a reserve day available, meaning the game could be completed on Friday. However, the forecast is even worse for Friday in Kolkata, with the chance of rain sitting at 90 per cent.

If the match can't be completed across the two days then South Africa would win by the fact they finished higher on the table than Australia.

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