Australia tour to England: Khawaja and Short victims of circumstance
Australia coach Justin Langer claimed that batsmen Usman Khawaja and D’Arcy Short remain in the national selectors’ thinking despite being left out of the touring party for the white-ball series against England.
Langer says the two players were unlucky to miss out due to a combination of factors.
Australian depth sees Khawaja lose out
The coach reasoned that Australia currently sport remarkable depth of talent.
Australia’s series strategy left Khawaja competing for a place against Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne who have been the beating heart of the team’s middle-order in the last year.
Both men have opened for Australia in the past but the team are rock solid in that regard sporting the opening pair of Aaron Finch and David Warner.
“The way we’re going to set up our game plan at the moment, Uzzie (Khawaja) is competing with David Warner, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith at the top of the order,” Langer said in quotes carried by Cricket.com.au.
“At the moment, our view is those guys are getting the nod ahead of him.
“Marnus is a bit different, he’s batting at number four and got a hundred in his last game (against South Africa in March) and he’s had an incredible twelve months.
“Ultimately Uzzie is competing against those top three at the moment and that’s why he’s missed out.
“I’m a massive fan of Usman Khawaja, he knows that and I’ve said that over and over.
“He had an incredible year last year in white-ball cricket, but unfortunately he has two guys in Steve Smith and David Warner who are coming back into the team and they have the spot at the moment.”
While Khawaja has been in decent touch, Short has struggled to recapture his form of 2018, but Langer has backed the 30-year-old to come back stronger.
Langer offers support to Short
Langer says that Short lost out to Glenn Maxwell when it came to picking the 21-man squad for the tour.
Maxwell has returned from a self-imposed break from cricket and remains one the best finishers in limited-overs cricket.
Langer said that Maxwell’s bowling allowed him to creep in ahead of Short.
“I saw him (Short) yesterday play a practice game here in Perth, he played really well again as he keeps doing,” Langer said.
“He’s got the double chance, in the sense that he’s also competing at the top of the order which we know he can do.
“He does that really well in domestic cricket, but he’s competing again, like Uzzie, against those three I mentioned before.
“And we need some allrounders in the middle and at the moment he’s competing with Glenn Maxwell who has come back into the team.
“He’s taken D’Arcy’s spot, mainly because we feel more confident getting overs out of Glenn Maxwell than we do out of Shorty in the middle overs.
“Shorty is really aware of that.
“He’s working very, very hard on his bowling.
“He’s had a pretty good run at it, batting in the middle, but Maxy got there.
“It just goes to show what depth we’ve got if we’ve leaving D’Arcy, Uzzie and (Test vice-captain) Travis Head out.”
England and Australia will meet in three T20Is at the Rose Bowl in Southampton with the first scheduled for 4 September.
Sophia Dunkley and Katie George included in England squad
Heather Knight’s side are set for their first fixtures of the summer.
Jonny Bairstow century helps England recover from nightmare start
Australia took two wickets with the first two balls of the match.
Yorkshire quartet to miss remaining Blast games following positive Covid test
Matthew Fisher, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Josh Poysden and David Willey are to self-isolate for 14 days.
England v Australia, 3rd ODI: Follow it live with Cricket365
Follow the updates from Emirates Old Trafford, with the series tied at 1-1, on our live scorecard
Khawaja: Racism is a barrier to cultural diversity in Australian cricket
Australia batsman Usman Khawaja says that more can be done to address racism at all levels of cricket.
Chris Woakes wants England to finish with a flourish
England are bidding to preserve their undefeated record across all formats.
Ian Cockbain to the fore as Gloucestershire qualify for Blast quarter-finals
The 33-year-old hit 44 off 21 balls as Birmingham were beaten by 50 runs in Bristol.
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan claims he was racially abused when at Yorkshire
Azeem Rafiq said he was left on the brink of suicide and labelled the club “institutionally racist”.
Chris Woakes urges England to maintain unbeaten record across ‘tough’ summer
A host of players have spent the past three months between two bio-secure bubbles in Manchester and Southampton.
Chris Woakes says players will feel impact as ECB reveals ‘unthinkable’ job cuts
The game’s governing body believes the health crisis has already cost the wider game £100million.