If it were up to Shane Warne, Usman Khawaja wouldn’t be selected in Australia’s 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
Khawaja is the leading run-scorer in one-day internationals in 2019, with 769 runs in 13 matches, at an average of 59.15. But despite that, Warne, tweeting out his selection of 15, left out the left-handed top-order batsman.
Khawaja, who was elicited for Aussies’ home series against India in January after a break of nearly two years, has capitalized on the chance with six fifty-plus scores in his last 10 matches, with two hundred. His enormous form now improves to the selectors’ annoyance as they try to slot the recurring Warner and Steve Smith back into the team.
Khawaja, however, announced happy about his present run of form, saying that his emphasis was on the three residual games in the Pakistan series. “It’s World Cup an extensive way away.
Warne instead picked D’Arcy Short, who has played just four ODIs and hasn’t played one since November 2018. Short was picked to open alongside David Warner. Aaron Finch, the ODI captain, was shifted down to No.3, with Steve Smith at two-drop. No more ODI’s for Australia till the CWC19. Remember the conditions in England will be nothing like the recent tours to India and the UAE. Tough job for the selectors as players are going to miss out even though they have formed.
Peter Handscomb, another in-form player, was also left out, as was Josh Hazlewood. Shaun Marsh made the squad but found no spot in the XI.
Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey made up Warne’s middle order, with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa completing the XI.
Before announcing his pick, Warne stated that the conditions in England and Wales must be kept in mind while considering any squad.
Cricket Australia is expected to announce its World Cup squad by 23 April, but with over 20 players in contention for the 15 spots, competition is tight.
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