Usman Khawaja has been dropped from Australia’s Ashes squad for the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester. After coming back from a hamstring injury during the World Cup, his scores have been 8, 23, 36, 2, 13 and 40 during the 2019 Ashes Test series.
Australia have named their squad for the all-important 4th Test with the series tied at 1-1. Australia will be looking to take back the lead in Old Trafford and to consolidate their position in the current Ashes series.
“I actually feel really good batting, I just haven’t made any big runs lately which is obviously frustrating,” Khawaja said a few days ago. Khawaja has paid the price by converting this starts into big scores which had led to his exclusion for the next match with Steve Smith fit and ready to play.
Australia have been managing the workload for the pacers very carefully, with James Pattinson rested for the test. Pattinson came back into the Australian team after 3 and a half years of injuries, therefore, they have been managing his load very cautiously. Pattinson will be replaced by either Mitchell Starc or Peter Siddle.
Smith has recovered from his concussion suffered in the second match, which automaticlly prompted the selectors to drop Khawaja although Khawaja captained the Aussies in their tour match vs Derbyshire. There is also no justification of dropping Marnus Labuschagne after his brilliant performance in Smith’s absence. Marcus Harris, who has been given another opportunity after an average performance in Leeds, will be opening the batting with David Warner.
Matthew Wade, who scored a century in the first Ashes Test, has also made the cut but he will be looking to get a big score after poor performances at Lord’s and Leeds.
Australia XII for the fourth Test: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.