Australian opener Travis Head has challenged South Africa to target him with Gerald Coetzee’s bowling after a delivery from the South African paceman fractured Head’s hand in an ODI series before the World Cup.
Coetzee has predominantly bowled second change for the Proteas and sits third on the wicket-takers leaderboard with 18.
The 23-year-old has featured in seven out of nine World Cup matches for South Africa and could wreak havoc in the latter stages of the series.
READ MORE: England great’s bizarre World Cup excuse raises eyebrows
READ MORE: ‘Dead inside’: Tragedy’s shocking toll for jockey
READ MORE: Aussie stunned as ‘mind blowing’ feat goes global
Speaking ahead of their semi-final clash, the Australian opener encouraged his opponents to bring their young firebrand on early.
”Go for it,” Head said.
“They’ve got a very good bowling attack, I think he’s taken the most wickets for them but has missed a couple of games.
“It’ll be interesting to see what make up they go with but I don’t think that will be in their mind. I think they’ll back their skillset over mine.
Watch every Australian Cricket World Cup match and other headline games live and free on Channel Nine and 9Now
“I think they’re a pretty good bowling attack, they’re a very skilful bowling attack, I don’t think I’ll be targeted in any certain way, I think they’ll think that their skillset is good enough to get me out and I’ll back my skillset against theirs, it’ll be a good battle and we’ll see how we go.”
Head suffered his injury in the fourth ODI against South Africa in September, and only joined Australia’s World Cup squad late due to his recovery.
The 29-year-old added he hadn’t given much thought to the idea that it was the South Africans that broke his hand.
“No,” he replied.
“… I’m sure he didn’t mean to hit me in the hand, it was meant to probably go a bit higher than that, that’s all part of the game so I guess I take a relaxed approach to that sort of stuff; performance, injuries.
“He did me a favour, I got four weeks at home with the family, got refreshed, came back and hopefully can be refreshed, energised and can perform at the back end of the tournament.
“It might be a blessing in disguise.”
Australia faces South Africa in the World Cup semi-final at 7.30pm on November 16 (AEDT).