Australian head coach Justin Langer on Thursday explicated why Usman Khawaja and D’Arcy Short have not been named for the forthcoming limited-overs series against England.
“The way we’re going to set up our game plan at the moment, Ozzie (Khawaja) is competing with David Warner, Aaron Finch and Steve Smith at the top of the order. At the moment, our view is those guys are getting the nod ahead of him,” cricket.com.au quoted Langer as saying.
“Ultimately Uzzie is competing against those top three at the moment and that’s why he’s missed out. I’m a massive fan of Usman Khawaja, he knows that and I’ve said that over and over. He had an incredible year last year in white-ball cricket, but unfortunately, he has two guys in Steve Smith and David Warner who are coming back into the team and they have the spot at the moment,” he added.
Langer alleged that Darcy was not elected for the England visit due to the return of all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
“I saw Short yesterday play a practice game here in Perth, he played really well again as he keeps doing. He’s got the double chance, in the sense that he’s also competing at the top of the order which we know he can do. He does that really well in domestic cricket, but he’s competing again, like Uzzie, against those three I mentioned before. And we need some allrounders in the middle and at the moment he’s competing with Glenn Maxwell who has come back into the team,” Langer said.
“He’s taken D’Arcy’s spot, mainly because we feel more confident getting overs out of Glenn Maxwell than we do out of Shorty in the middle overs. Shorty is really aware of that. He’s working very, very hard on his bowling,” he added.
Australia’s 21-man squad:
Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (VC), Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.
Australian men’s squad Senior Assistant Coach Andrew McDonald will not travel with the team to the UK to accomplish a pre-existing obligation as Head Coach of the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Veteran CA High-Performance Coach Troy Cooley and Melbourne Stars WBBL Head Coach Trent Woodhill will deliver coaching provision to Justin Langer during the visit, in addition to Performance Analyst Dene Hills, Selector George Bailey, and the broader team support staff.
The Aaron Finch-led team would be staying in a bio-secure bubble and all the matches will be played behind closed doors. The T20Is will be played at the Ageas Bowl while the ODIs will take place at Emirates Old Trafford. The first T20I will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton on September 4.