Australia dealt a major blow ahead of the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka, as opener Shaun Marsh was ruled out due to a broken finger. Marsh injured his finger during the third ODI, which Australia won after a close shave against the hosts. Replacing Marsh will be another southpaw, Usman Khawaja. Khawaja, who was dropped for the third test, will be eager to prove a point or two.
Ahead of the fourth game, Warner backed Khawaja to succeed. Australia’s stand-in captain mentioned that Khawaja could carry his form from the Caribbean, where he scored a delightful 90. A big knock from Khawaja out here could well pose selection headaches for Australia, once regular skipper Steve Smith is available for selection.
“He’s (Khawaja) been doing everything he can to put his hand up for selection,” Warner said. “He accepts that he didn’t have the runs on the board and he’s been doing everything he can to get back in the team. I’m really looking forward to seeing him come out and play the way he does. He scored a lovely 90 in the Caribbean and he played fantastic there, I’m hoping he can come out here and do the same thing tomorrow.”
While speaking about the tour as a whole, Warner said that it had been a difficult experience. “It was a difficult time for everyone, not just Usman himself.” “We all have to have a bit of a reality check sometimes in regards to the way we play our game. It’s such a tough environment to be over here. Unfortunately, he did get dropped from the Test series. He took that very, very well. He’s been training his backside off in the nets,” he said.
The swashbuckling opener also said that despite having a run of low scores, he was confident about his batting. “That’s just what happens with cricket. Sometimes you’re in form, sometimes you’re not. I feel like I’m hitting the ball well. I’ve had some good dismissals, I’ve had a couple of poor shots here and there. “But that’s the challenge you face over here in these conditions. You always have to back your game plan and back your skills. Every time I’ve gone out there, I’ve done that. Unfortunately, I haven’t got the runs on the board that are necessary. I’ll be aiming to come out here and play my role as I normally do, try and have that intent from ball one.”