Ashes 2021-22: Usman Khawaja set to replace Travis Head in Sydney Test
Head will miss the fourth Test after testing positive for COVID-19.
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Australia are set to make at least one enforced change for the upcoming fourth Ashes Test in Sydney. Travis Head tested positive for COVID-19 after the third Test in Melbourne and is isolating in the same city with his partner. Taking precautionary measures, Cricket Australia had called three players, Mitch Marsh, Nic Maddinson and Josh Inglis, into the squad as cover.
However, all three players might have to wait on the sidelines with the whole playing squad returning negative tests for COVID-19. Having said that Usman Khawaja is almost certain to make a comeback into the national side and play in the format for the first time since the Leeds Test against England in August 2019.
Khawaja will be batting at number five, the only position he hasn’t batted in his Test career so far. The southpaw plundered runs in the Sheffield Shield this season to come back into the reckoning. But Australia preferred Head to start with as even he was in great form in the lead up to the Ashes.
“It’s always nicer when you’re coming off games – I haven’t played for a month now – but it shouldn’t take too long hopefully, if I play and get out there, bat for half an hour and get into it, I should find that sync again,” Khawaja said according to cricket.com.au.
Khawaja understands he may comeback only for one game
Meanwhile, Usman Khawaja is aware of the fact he could be left out after Sydney Test irrespective of his performance. Travis Head is expected to be available for the Pink ball Test in Hobart. “It’s one of those things where even if I do play, it’ll only be for one game … I understand that situation … hopefully I can go out there and score a hundred and do well for the team in the absence of ‘Heady’,” Khawaja added.
Meanwhile, Marcus Harris, the opener, is still in Melbourne and Cricket Australia is finding the best way to help him travel. Harris had dined with Head before he tested positive and hence, he didn’t travel with the rest of the squad in charter flight on Friday (December 31). However, having returned negative tests, Harris is likely to reach Sydney by road now.