Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Knee injury could sideline Usman Khawaja for Australian summer

Khawaja facing knee surgery and in doubt for start of Test summer Sarfraz taken to hospital after complaining of headaches
Cassandra Castillo | 21 October, 2018, 16:53

Australian medical staff will examine the results and see how Khawaja pulls up on the morning of day four before making a final decision on whether he will bat in the daunting rescue mission after damaging his left knee in the warm-up.

With India's tour of Australia just over a month away, the hosts have faced a major setback as their in-form batsman Usman Khawaja could be ruled out of the four-match Test series that gets underway at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide on December 4.

"I don't know what specifically happened".

With Steve Smith and David Warner already on the sidelines due to their one-year ban and with senior batsmen like Shaun Marsh and Mitchell Marsh struggling, a lot has been expected from Khawaja to deliver in the upcoming series Down Under.

Khawaja, Australia's top-ranked batsman in the absence of suspended pair David Warrner and Steve Smith, sustained the injury during a throwing drill before play on day three of the second Test against Pakistan at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. "He's a positive guy, so fingers crossed for him".

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"Guys that are testing our defence for long enough, whether that's spin or medium pace or quick bowlers are getting rewards, and I think teams around the world are probably recognising that and knowing if they can just keep at us, keep at us, keep at us, these collapses are happening". "We had some momentum from the first Test, started really well here and then from 5 for 57 it went a bit pear-shaped to be honest, all over the field".

"Once he's got the scan and we know more, that'll determine from the doctor's point of view what he can and can't do".

Abbas followed his 5-33 in the first innings with figures of 5-62 to wreck Australia for 164 after they were set a big 538-run target.

After Dubai, amid the reverie of Australia's successful rearguard, Langer had commented on the physical and mental toll of Test matches, particularly those played in the UAE desert, where temperatures have routinely hovered near 40C with considerable humidity.

Tim Paine delivered a damning assessment of Australia's batting frailties and said the side "wasn't up for it" after Pakistan wrapped up the series with a crushing victory in Abu Dhabi. "At the end of this second Test you'll be coming and giving me a hug". "And Finchy said it to me today as well because Test cricket is so tiring". Physically and mentally, it's so draining. "They're all important Test matches".

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