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2 Reasons Why Australia Are Wrong To Not Pick Usman Khawaja For The World Cup 2023-TGN

As cricket enthusiasts worldwide gear up for the 2023 World Cup in India, the selection committees are under scrutiny for their squad choices. The Australian Cricket Board has already revealed their squad for the grand tournament, and the omission of Usman Khawaja has stirred considerable debate among fans and pundits alike. His absence from the squad is perplexing, given his experience and form in recent years. Additionally, Khawaja’s particular skill set seems tailor-made for Indian conditions, a fact that heightens the confusion surrounding his exclusion.

Khawaja is no stranger to international cricket, having made his debut for Australia in 2011. Over the years, he’s evolved into a reliable top-order batsman, often rising to the occasion when his team needs him the most. Whether it’s a Test match, a One Day International, or a T20 fixture, Khawaja’s adaptability across formats makes him a valuable asset. His performances in domestic competitions have also been noteworthy, showcasing his consistency and skill. Despite this, the selectors have overlooked him, opting for younger, less experienced players in a decision that baffles many.

To further illustrate why this is a misguided move, let’s delve into two crucial reasons: Khawaja’s suitability for Indian pitches and the positive impact he has on team morale.

The Oversight of Usman Khawaja in Australia’s 2023 World Cup Squad: A Misstep in Strategy and Morale:

#1 Khawaja’s Expertise on Indian Pitches

Usman Khawaja’s batting technique makes him an ideal candidate for playing in India. Indian pitches generally favour spin bowling, requiring batsmen to possess impeccable footwork and keen tactical awareness. Khawaja has displayed these attributes consistently, notably during Australia’s tour of India in 2019. He amassed 383 runs in five matches, proving he can tackle India’s spinning conditions with finesse. His left-handed batting style also adds a much-needed variety to Australia’s predominantly right-handed top order. By not including Khawaja, Australia misses out on a seasoned player who can navigate the tricky Indian wickets effectively.

#2 Boosting Team Morale

The second reason pertains to team morale, an often underemphasized yet crucial aspect of any sporting endeavour. Usman Khawaja brings more to the table than just his cricketing skills; he brings experience, leadership, and a sense of stability. In high-pressure games, particularly during world tournaments, these traits are invaluable. Young players look up to him, and even the seasoned campaigners find reassurance in his calm demeanour. He has a knack for anchoring innings, absorbing pressure when needed, and changing the tempo of the game. A player who can wear multiple hats—mentor, anchor, aggressor—is indispensable in a setting as competitive as the World Cup.

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Usman Khawaja’s omission from Australia’s World Cup squad is not just puzzling but potentially detrimental. He’s not merely a player but a comprehensive package, skilled in technique and rich in experience. The decision to exclude him overlooks the multifaceted advantages he brings, both in terms of adapting to Indian pitches and boosting team morale. As the clock ticks down to the World Cup, one can only wonder how this selection oversight will play out for Australia on the grand stage.

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