Usman Khawaja, the blaster batsman of Australia was left out of the XI team for the tour match against India A. But the worries do not seem to end for the player. Now an uncertainty looms over the inclusion of the player in the primary team for the first test against India. To replace the batsman, Shaun Marsh was included in the warm up fixture before the first test in Pune. In the tour match several other players were rested; that include Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. However, Khawaja’s absence has more significance to the team.
Including Shaun Marsh in the team, the selectors are trying to equalize the bowling and batting positions. As Marsh is an all-rounder, the team will have five specialist batsmen including him. David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Steven Smith, and Peter Handscomb will form the batting line up.
The reason of Khawaja’s dismissal is his disappointing record in Asian conditions. But it might have been too early to conclude since he has played only four tests, that too, only in Sri Lanka. In the tour, he had a bleak performance scoring only 115 runs at a strike rate of 19.16. Khawaja also had unsatisfactory performance in first-class in the continent. In first-class and tour-matches combined, he scored 389 runs at an average of 32.41.
In contrast, Marsh scored two centuries in the three test matches he played in Sri Lanka. He averaged 78.60. This is the primary reason for his selection off late. He has not played any first class matches in India. Another reason for his induction is his bowling abilities, which is a strong spin attack for Australia.
National selector, Trevor Hohns said Khawaja is one of the six best batsmen Australia possesses now, but he was not great in Sri Lanka. He wants the batsman to improve his play in Asian condition particularly with spin bowling. The selector expects the batsman to do whatever possible for him to improve.
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