Khawaja replaces injured Finch, Watson to lead Side in 3rd T20I

Usman Khawaja

Sydney: Australian opening batsman Usman Khawaja has replaced the Australian Twenty20 skipper Aaron Finch who was ruled out of the last game following a hamstring injury during the second game at MCG on Tuesday.

The announcement came from Cricket Australia (CA) on Saturday.

In another change to the squad, wicket-keeper/batsman Cameron Bancroft came in place of Matthew Wade who couldn’t able to impress the selectors in first two games at Adelaide and Melbourne.

The Aussie selectors were impressed by the performances shown by the left-hander Khawaja in the Big Bash this season. He featured in last four games for Sydney Thunders which guided the side to win the trophy and to be crowned champions. He had scored 345 runs in just four matches with a strike rate of 163.50 and an average of 172.50, including two centuries and two half-centuries with a highest score of 109 not out.

Speaking over Finch’s injury, CA’s Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager Alex Kountouris said, “Aaron suffered the injury to his left hamstring while batting and although it is too early to confirm the full extent of the issue, we do know that it will prevent him playing in Sydney on Sunday.”

“We believe it is not a recurrence of a previous injury he suffered to the same hamstring,” said Kountouris, adding “Aaron will remain in Melbourne to undergo scans and we will be in a position to announce in due course the expected length of time he will be sidelined.”

Aaron Finch limping back to pavilion after getting out in 2nd T20I at MCG
Aaron Finch limping back to pavilion after getting out in 2nd T20I at MCG

Speaking over his injury, Finch said, “It is hugely frustrating to suffer this injury.” However, he is hopeful for the ICC World T20 which will begin from March 8 while Australia will begin its campaign from March 18 against it continent rivals New Zealand.

“I am hoping it will not keep me out for a lengthy period of time, especially with an ICC World Twenty20 on the horizon, but I will be guided by the specialists,” said the right-hander.

Australia squad for 3rd T20I: Shane Watson (C.), Cameron Bancroft (wk), Scott Boland, Cameron Boyce, James Faulkner, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Chris Lynn, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Tait, Andrew Tye.