Thursday, February 29, 2024

Travis Head ruled out for first half of World Cup, Marnus Labuschagne back in fray

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Travis Head has been ruled out of the first half of next month’s World Cup, Australia coach Andrew McDonald has confirmed following their 2-3 series defeat to South Africa.

Head broke his left arm after he was hit on the left glove by a short shot from Proteas seamer Gerald Coetzee in the seventh round of the fourth ODI.
“The time frame is still a bit loose at the moment, but the good news is he doesn’t need surgery because he’s fit at the moment,” Cricket.com.au quoted McDonald as saying.

“There will be an extended time limit and we just have to consider whether that time (out) falls with the possibility of carrying it through the front half of the World Cup.

“There’s no doubt he won’t be available for the first half, so it’s a decision we have to make for the last 15 players.” But I can’t give you an exact time frame.”

Marnus back in the shot
A head injury could open the door for middle order batsman Marnus Labuschagne in the team. Labuschagne, who had lost his place in the ODIs, returned to form and finished as Australia’s leading run-scorer with 283 at an average of 70.75.

“I can’t speak for the selection committee and lock him into the World Cup 15, but it certainly looks likely,” McDonald said of Labuschagne’s World Cup hopes.
“He’s made a significant shift in his intent at the crease and he’s put the bowler under (more) pressure than he potentially was 12 months ago. He’s had around 100 strikes in this series.

“We know Marnus is a quality player and he probably hasn’t had the 12-18 months in one-day cricket that he would have liked.

“But he’s undoubtedly grabbed the opportunity with both hands and there’s no doubt he’ll be front and center when it comes to the fifteen-man track team.

Fresh injuries
Australian seamers Nathan Ellis and Sean Abbott suffered fresh injuries during Australia’s 2-3 series defeat against South Africa.

Suffering from an adductor strain, Ellis was unable to complete his spell after bowling eight overs.

Abbott tore a strap on his finger as he went into the field and required stitches, but was able to complete his spell and McDonald suggested he should be fit to face India in the upcoming series.

Teams can make changes to their World Cup squads until the September 28 deadline.

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