Faulkner close to full fitness

Australia allrounder James Faulkner is nearing a return to full fitness and could even play in his side's next match at the World Cup, against Afghanistan in Perth on Wednesday.

The left-arm seam bowler, who has been sidelined since picking up a side strain against England in February, will train with the team on Monday and if he comes through unscathed, he could be available for selection.

Faulkner told a news conference at the WACA: "I'm going to bowl half a dozen overs today and if I get through that, I'll be available for selection and hopefully I'll get picked.

"I've been batting since two or three days after the injury to be brutally honest. Being a right-handed batter and left-handed bowler, it's not the same side."

Australia suffered a defeat to tournament co-hosts New Zealand in their last match, but Faulkner thinks that the loss to their neighbours will not only strengthen the team's resolve to win the trophy.

The 24 year-old Faulkner said: "We all know we didn't perform as well as we could over in New Zealand and that's probably just going to make the team hungrier.

"So far we've been very successful as a team and you're going to come across these little setbacks from time-to-time. Hopefully we can get back on the winning path on Wednesday."