Melbourne: Australia player Tim Paine denied the possibility of Usman Khawaja missing out the first Ashes match as he expects the 32-year-old to be fully fit ahead of the series, starting from 1 August.
Khawaja sustained a hamstring injury during the recently concluded ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup and was subsequently ruled out of the tournament. Although he will not be available for the warm-up Test match slated to begin from Tuesday, Paine played down the fear of Khawaja missing the first Ashes Match.
“I don’t think he’s in serious doubt (of missing the first Ashes Test. He’s in a rehab stage so the decision has been made that he won’t play at this stage,” Cricket.com.au quoted Paine as saying.
“There is a possibility, maybe, if something were to happen to someone else he might be right for the back end of the game. But we expect him to be fully fit and available for selection for the first Test,” he added.
Tim Paine will lead the Hick XII while Travis Head will be captaining Haddin XII for an all-Australian showdown starting from Tuesday.
Hick XII squad: Joe Burns, Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (c, wk), Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Chris Tremain, Nathan Lyon.
Haddin XII squad: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Travis Head (c), Marnus Labuschagne, Will Pucovski, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland.
source – Firstpost