Australia’s Travis Head is set to miss out on the first half of the World Cup due to a fracture in his left hand which he suffered during the fourth ODI against South Africa.
Travis Head’s injury could mean that Marnus Labuschagne could make his entry into the Australian squad. Labuschagne had finished as the highest run-scorer with 283 runs, averaging 70, in the five-match ODI series against South Africa.
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Regarding Head’s injury, Australian coach, Andrew McDonald said, “The timeframe is still a bit loose at the moment but the good news is he doesn’t require surgery as it sits at the moment.”
The Australian team management will face a dilemma on whether to persist with Head and include him in the squad or push for someone like Labuschagne who has performed well in the ODI series.
Australia could also utilise Mitchell Marsh in the opener’s slot and partner alongside the experienced campaigner, David Warner. Marsh was the stand-in captain for the Australian side in the T20 series against South Africa. He finished as the highest run-scorer in the three-match T20 series as well.
Regarding Labuschagne’s inclusion in the Australian World Cup squad, McDonald commented, “I can’t talk on behalf of the selection panel and lock him away in the World Cup 15 but it’s no doubt looking likely.”
The coach praised Labuschagne’s change in intent after being dropped from the ODI squad due to poor form. McDonald said, “He’s made a significant shift in his intent at the crease and put the bowlers under pressure (more) than he was potentially 12 months ago. He’s struck at around 100 strike rate in this series.”
The Australian side faces more fitness concerns which include the pacers, Nathan Ellis and Sean Abbot.
Ellis had suffered an adductor strain in the final ODI and was unable to complete his quota of overs.
Sean Abbot had split his webbing and required stitches, but the positive news is that he was able to complete his quota of overs and the coach remained confident in him taking part against India in the three-match ODI series.
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The various injury concerns will pose a selection conundrum for the Australian management with the side looking to face India as they look to gain a complete picture of what their squad is like for the World Cup.
All teams participating in the World Cup will have time until September 28 to finalize their squads which will take part in the prestigious tournament.
Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith, Alex Carey, Josh Inglis, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitch Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa, Mitchell Starc.