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.
On this day in 2004: Muttiah Muralitharan beats Shane Warne to Test record
Muralitharan surpassed Courtney Walsh’s mark of 519 Test wickets.
Craig Overton displays all-round talents to put Somerset on top
James Bracey also excelled as Gloucestershire pushed for victory over Middlesex.
Nottinghamshire in control against Essex as 15 wickets fall at Trent Bridge
James Anderson removed Marnus Labuschagne cheaply.
England could stage remaining IPL games in September as counties contact ECB
It is believed the matches could be wrapped up in little over a fortnight if a model of two games a day and three on weekends was adopted.
On This Day in 1988 – Worcestershire’s Graeme Hick scores 405 in single innings
Hick set a 20th-century County Championship record six years before Brian Lara broke it with his 501 not out for Warwickshire.
Jofra Archer shows flashes of top form on return from injury
Archer continued his return to action in a Second XI County Championship match at Hove.
Chris Jordan says suspending IPL ‘the right call’ as he awaits return to England
There has already been plenty of debate over whether the tournament should have continued as long as it did during a public health emergency.
On this day in 2011: Alastair Cook was named as England’s new ODI captain
Cook replaced Andrew Strauss, who retired from one-day cricket, while Broad took over from Paul Collingwood.
Former Australian Test cricketer victim of targeted kidnapping, police say
MacGill played 44 Tests for Australia and took 208 wickets.
England contigent start to return home after IPL postponed due to coronavirus
The majority of England’s players at the tournament are expected to fly home imminently.