Get the app

Ashes 2019 | Khawaja Dropped as Smith Returns for Fourth Test

Australia on Tuesday dropped struggling batsman Usman Khawaja for the fourth Ashes Test against England at Old Trafford, making way for Steve Smith's return.

AFP |September 3, 2019, 8:43 AM IST
Ashes 2019 | Khawaja Dropped as Smith Returns for Fourth Test

Australia on Tuesday dropped struggling batsman Usman Khawaja for the fourth Ashes Test against England at Old Trafford, making way for Steve Smith's return.

Selectors named a 12-man squad for the Test beginning Wednesday, with David Warner and Marcus Harris as openers but leaving out Khawaja, who has averaged just 20.33 in six innings in the series batting at number three.

Leading batsman Smith, who suffered concussion after being hit on the head by Jofra Archer in the second Test at Lord's, returns after sitting out last week's agonising loss at Headingley which levelled the five-match series 1-1 with two Tests to play.

Smith has scored 378 runs at an average of 126 in three innings in the series and was back on the field in last week's tour match against Derbyshire.

The 32-year-old Khawaja scored 72 opening the batting against Derbyshire, but it was not enough to convince selectors to keep him in the side.

Harris has been retained after making eight and 19 at Headingley in his first Ashes Test then scoring 64 against Derbyshire before he was run out in a mix-up with Khawaja.

Coach Justin Langer told reporters in Manchester that he was "very clear on the 12, not so sure on the 11", with the decision coming down to the bowling line-up.

Pace bowler James Pattinson has also been left out, leaving fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle to compete for three places.

Langer said losing at Headingley by one wicket after bowling out England for 67 in the first innings was a "really tough loss" for the team, but their preparations for the upcoming game had been solid.

"We felt like we got the Ashes stolen the other day," he said of England's successful chase of their record 359 target. "To England's great credit, that's what they did -- they won that Test match.

"Now we've got to work out what we're going to do -- we're going to use that as fire, we're not going to feel sorry for ourselves."

Australia squad: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matt Wade, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Related stories

Also Watch

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7748 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 South Africa 5193 110
5 Australia 5854 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
see more