Infotainment Factory: Aussies sweat on Khawaja scans

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Thursday, 18 October 2018

Aussies sweat on Khawaja scans


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Australia's depleted batting stocks could face further devastation after in-form opener Usman Khawaja injured his knee in Abu Dhabi.

Khawaja was set to undergo scans on Thursday night after tweaking his left knee during the warm-up and failing to take the field.

The opening batsman, who was man of the match during the drawn first Test in Dubai, tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee in 2014.

There was hope within the Australian camp that Khawaja had avoided serious injury and could even bat when the tourists resume at 1-47 on Friday, requiring another 491 runs to pull off a world-record run chase in the series-decider.

Even if Khawaja does bat, the time he spent off the field prevents him from coming in higher than No.7 during the first two hours of the innings.

Veteran paceman Peter Siddle said Khawaja appeared to have hurt himself in innocuous circumstances.

"It was just something in warm-up. We were throwing the ball," Siddle said.

"I don't know what specifically happened. It's disappointing for him but fingers crossed he gets some good news tonight.

"Once he's got the scan and we know more, that'll determine from the doctor's point of view what he can and can't do. We'll see how that comes up tomorrow and we'll go from there."

Australia host No.1-ranked India in Tests during the home summer and can ill-afford to lose Khawaja, who has become the most senior batsman in a heavily-depleted top six following the suspensions handed to Steve Smith and David Warner.

The injury is shocking timing for the Queenslander, who defied his doubters to post scores of 141 and 85 and spearhead Australia's remarkable comeback in Dubai.

"He was initially very flat, as anyone would know, knowing that he can't get out there with the boys and help out," Siddle said.

"But I think throughout the day he was up and about, moving around, helping us when we came in and trying to help us in the rooms. He's a positive guy, so fingers crossed for him and we get some good news tonight or tomorrow."

Aaron Finch (24 not out) and Travis Head (17 not out) will resume on Friday with Australia needing a miracle to avoid a crushing defeat.

No Test side in history has ever successfully chased a fourth-innings target greater than 418.

Shaun Marsh (four) lasted just six balls before being clean-bowled by debutant Mir Hamza, capping off a terrible series for the 35-year-old.

Left-arm paceman Hamza's maiden Test wicket was a peach, angling away from the left-hander and clipping off stump.

But pressure is mounting on Marsh ahead of the home summer, having now gone 12 innings at Test level without a score of note.

Serious questions will linger about how Australia managed to end up so far behind the game after an inspired Nathan Lyon spell left Pakistan reeling at 5-57 in the first innings.

Australia's bowlers failed to press their advantage after Lyon's brilliance, and the 145 put on in reply was their fourth-lowest first innings total in Asia.

Australia's depleted batting stocks could face further devastation after in-form opener Usman Khawaja injured his knee in Abu Dhabi.

Khawaja was set to undergo scans on Thursday night after tweaking his left knee during the warm-up and failing to take the field.

The opening batsman, who was man of the match during the drawn first Test in Dubai, tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the same knee in 2014.

There was hope within the Australian camp that Khawaja had avoided serious injury and could even bat when the tourists resume at 1-47 on Friday, requiring another 491 runs to pull off a world-record run chase in the series-decider.

Even if Khawaja does bat, the time he spent off the field prevents him from coming in higher than No.7 during the first two hours of the innings.

Veteran paceman Peter Siddle said Khawaja appeared to have hurt himself in innocuous circumstances.

"It was just something in warm-up. We were throwing the ball," Siddle said.

"I don't know what specifically happened. It's disappointing for him but fingers crossed he gets some good news tonight.

"Once he's got the scan and we know more, that'll determine from the doctor's point of view what he can and can't do. We'll see how that comes up tomorrow and we'll go from there."

Australia host No.1-ranked India in Tests during the home summer and can ill-afford to lose Khawaja, who has become the most senior batsman in a heavily-depleted top six following the suspensions handed to Steve Smith and David Warner.

The injury is shocking timing for the Queenslander, who defied his doubters to post scores of 141 and 85 and spearhead Australia's remarkable comeback in Dubai.

"He was initially very flat, as anyone would know, knowing that he can't get out there with the boys and help out," Siddle said.

"But I think throughout the day he was up and about, moving around, helping us when we came in and trying to help us in the rooms. He's a positive guy, so fingers crossed for him and we get some good news tonight or tomorrow."

Aaron Finch (24 not out) and Travis Head (17 not out) will resume on Friday with Australia needing a miracle to avoid a crushing defeat.

No Test side in history has ever successfully chased a fourth-innings target greater than 418.

Shaun Marsh (four) lasted just six balls before being clean-bowled by debutant Mir Hamza, capping off a terrible series for the 35-year-old.

Left-arm paceman Hamza's maiden Test wicket was a peach, angling away from the left-hander and clipping off stump.

But pressure is mounting on Marsh ahead of the home summer, having now gone 12 innings at Test level without a score of note.

Serious questions will linger about how Australia managed to end up so far behind the game after an inspired Nathan Lyon spell left Pakistan reeling at 5-57 in the first innings.

Australia's bowlers failed to press their advantage after Lyon's brilliance, and the 145 put on in reply was their fourth-lowest first innings total in Asia.

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