Australia Playing XI for 4th Ashes Test: Australia have surprisingly dropped a senior top-order batsman for the upcoming match.
Australia have announced a 12-member squad for the fourth Test of the ongoing 2019 Ashes series against England. Coming on the back of losing the previous Test at Headingley, the visitors will be looking to make a comeback at Old Trafford tomorrow.
In a bid to get on the field with the best combination, Australia have dropped Usman Khawaja in a surprising move. In three Tests so far, Khawaja had scored 122 runs at an average of 20.33 and a strike rate of 64.89. In the last 12 months, Khawaja has scored 661 runs in 11 Tests at an average of 36.72 and a strike rate of 45.96 including a couple of centuries and half-centuries each.
In the most recently concluded practice match against Derbyshire, Khawaja was sent in to open the batting. Him scoring 72 (157) had given hints of his opening the batting alongside David Warner in the fourth Test but that won’t happen now.
While Steve Smith replace Khawaja in the playing XI, it seems that all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne will bat at No. 3 and Smith will continue to bat at No. 4.
Apart from Khawaja, fast bowler James Pattinson has also been left out which means that three out of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc will take the field tomorrow. In two Tests, Pattinson dismissed five batsmen at an average of 33.40, an economy rate of 2.56 and a strike rate of 78.
If given a chance, it will be for the first time in the series that left-arm speedster Starc will get to play. There were hints about all-rounder Mitchell Marsh finding a spot but the team management has decided to stuck with the same combination.
Australia Playing XI for 4th Ashes Test:
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 2, 2019
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