Australia left-handed batsman Usman Khawaja has been ruled out of the remainder of the ICC World Cup 2019 due to a hamstring injury which he suffered in the match against South Africa on Saturday.
Coach Justin Langer, on Sunday, confirmed that Khawaja will be out of action for at least three to four weeks, forcing him out of the semi-final match against England in Birmingham on Thursday (July 11), with the emphasis now on the southpaw attempting to regain fitness ahead of the Ashes.
“Ussie’s got a hamstring strain so he’ll be out for probably three to four weeks which is a real shame but we have to work hard on getting him up for the Ashes now,” Langer said. “Such a pity for him, he’s been so integral to how we’ve been playing. Like Shaun [Marsh] I feel sad for him that he’s going to miss the World Cup semi-final.”
Khawaja, who came in at No. 3 during Australia’s chase of 326 against South Africa, picked up the injury facing five deliveries into his innings and had to retire hurt. He later came back to bat when Australia were seven down and needed 51. Having earlier scored six runs, he added 12 more to his score before being dismissed by Kagiso Rabada. Australia lost the match by 10 runs and finished second on the points table, as a result of which they will face the hosts in the second semifinal.
Now, left-arm wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade will replace Khawaja in the 15-member squad. Wade, who is currently in the UK with Australia ‘A’ team, has been in sensational form having scored 355 runs in four one-day matches on the tour.
The injury woes don’t end there for the Aussies as there are concerns over Marcus Stoinis’ fitness too. The all-rounder suffered a side strain in the match against South Africa.
This is the second time in the tournament that he has suffered a niggle. He sustained a side strain in Australia’s loss to India but was cleared to play the match eventually.
Australia earlier had called Peter Handscomb as a replacement for Shaun Marsh, who was injured while facing Pat Cummins in the nets.
Aaron Finch (c), David Warner, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa, Jason Behrendorff.