Australia has suffered a huge setback ahead of the ICC World Cup 2023 as their ace opener Travis Head is reportedly been ruled out of the first half of the Tournament after fracturing his left arm during the fourth ODI against South Africa in Centurion.
Head fractured his left hand after he was struck on the left glove by a short delivery from Proteas seamer Gerald Coetzee in the seventh over in the fourth ODI. Australia went on to lose the match and later on lost the fifth ODI in Johannesburg as well to lose the series 2-3.
Australian coach Andrew McDonald has confirmed the development after the ODI series loss to South Africa.
“The timeframe is still a bit loose at the moment but the good news is he doesn’t require surgery as it sits at the moment. There will be an extended period of time out and we’ve just got to weigh up whether that time (out) falls with an option to carry him through the front half of the World Cup.
There’s no doubt he won’t be available for the front half, so that’s a decision we’ll have to make for the final 15(-player squad). But I can’t give you an exact time frame,” McDonald was quoted by Cricket.com.au.
He’s Made A Significant Shift In His Intent At The Crease: Andrew McDonald On Marnus Labuschagne
Due to Head’s injury, Marnus Labuschagne, a middle-order hitter, may join the team. Despite being benched for the ODIs, Labuschagne regained his form and finished with 283 runs at an average of 70.75 to lead Australia in runs scored.
“I can’t talk on behalf of the selection panel and lock him away in the World Cup 15 but it’s no doubt looking likely. He’s made a significant shift in his intent at the crease and putting the bowlers under pressure (more) than he was potentially 12 months ago. He’s struck at around 100 strike-rate in this series.
We know Marnus is a quality player and he probably didn’t have the 12-18 months in one-day cricket that he would have liked. But he’s no doubt taken that opportunity with both hands and there’s no doubt he’ll be front and centre when it comes to that 15-man squad down the track,” McDonald said of Labuschagne’s World Cup hopes.