Cricket World Cup 2019

Cricket World Cup 2019: Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh are in a selection showdown, Usman Khawaja is under the selection microscope with Australia yet to settle on their best team at the World Cup.

Khawaja and fellow batsman Shaun Marsh are set to face a squeeze as early as Thursday’s clash with Bangladesh, with Australia keen to get a pace-bowling all-rounder back into the side.

Mitch Marsh has been released back to play for Australia A with Marcus Stoinis fit to see out the World Cup after overcoming a side strain.

The West Australian all-rounder is considered a strong chance to take on Bangladesh on Thursday, after getting through the session without concern.

Crucially that would mean there would only be room for one of Khawaja and Shaun Marsh, given Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell are all safe.

Khawaja got the nod over Marsh at the start of the tournament after entering as the form batsman of 2019, but has passed 20 in just one of his five innings and is yet to hit a half century.

Notably his average drops from 53.6 to 22.6 when not opening, after losing that role to Warner and since batting between No. 3 and No.6.

But Australia’s assistant coach Brad Haddin said the lack of runs was down to match situations.

“He’s playing a different role. It’s not that he’s not having success, he’s been in a role where he’s had limited opportunities,” Haddin said.

“Before he could go out and set the pace of the innings and now the innings is dictating the role he needs to play.

“He’s had little cameos throughout, he would’ve liked to go on bigger (against Sri Lanka) and get a big score.

“We’re pretty happy with where he’s at — he’s just got to bat the situation, and No. 3 is not uncommon to him. He’s played most of his career at No. 3 in state cricket and Test cricket.”

Marsh has also only hit scores of 23 and three in the tournament. He does however average 39.8 in England.

Australia began their preparations for their clash with Bangladesh with training on Tuesday, where there are also other questions about their first-choice team.

Stoinis’ inclusion would likely allow Adam Zampa to return to the side, with team officials currently wary of having to bowl 20 overs of spin given Maxwell is the only fifth bowling option at this stage.

Everyone with the exception of Nathan Lyon has played a game, while Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson are still fighting to be the third quick.

Richardson has statistically been the far superior with five wickets at 21.8, although Coulter-Nile does offer the added bonus of batting depth at No.8. “We’re still trying to find that best XI,” Haddin said.

“Marcus has thrown a spanner into everything there with his injury (given) how important an all-rounder is.

“Come later in the tournament we’ll start to understand what the conditions are like a lot better and what is our best XI.”

Group C at the Women’s World Cup is coming down to the wire, with the Matildas eager to book a place in the last 16 by avoiding defeat to Jamaica.

The island nation, the lowest-ranked side in France, has lost 3-0 and 5-0 in matches to Brazil and Italy thus far and are expected to be fodder for Ante Milicic’s team.

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