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Khawaja injury revealed as opener in doubt for Brisbane Test, Adelaide curator unimpressed with own pitch

19th January, 2024
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19th January, 2024
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Usman Khawaja has been cleared of a major jaw injury after being sent to hospital for scans following Australia’s ten-wicket win over the West Indies in Adelaide.

With the scores tied, Khawaja ducked into a short Shamar Joseph short ball and copped a frightful blow to the helmet.

Khawaja was spitting blood and feeling his upper jaw and cheekbone area before leaving Adelaide Oval with medical staff.

“That’s got him hard,” said Brett Lee on Fox Cricket.

“There’s a bit of claret. That was an outstanding bouncer. Hopefully he’s OK, Usman Khawaja.

“It’s cut him. I reckon it might have split his chin. That’s got him flush. There’s every chance that could do some serious damage to his jaw. That’s nasty.

“He was one run from celebrating with the Australians and he might need to go for a scan now. Very unfortunate.”

The veteran passed an initial concussion test and was sent to hospital for further assessment.

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Cricket Australia announced on Friday afternoon Khawaja had been ‘cleared of a fractured jaw’ and would be closely monitored in coming days.

“Usman Khawaja has been cleared of a fractured jaw and will be monitored for any delayed concussion symptoms leading into the second NRMA Insurance Test match against the West Indies in Brisbane. Khawaja was not diagnosed with concussion on his initial post-match assessment today,” the statement reads.

He will be tested again in 24 hours and, if concussed, would be ruled out of the second Test starting on January 25 in Brisbane with Matthew Renshaw his replacement.

“He seems OK but will be monitored,” Australia’s captain Pat Cummins said.

Khawaja retired moments before Australia secured victory some 11 minutes before lunch on Friday’s third day of play.

Chasing just 26 for victory, the home side reached 0-26 to secure a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series and ensure they retain the Frank Worrell trophy.

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Marnus Labuschagne (1no) hit the winning run and Steve Smith was unbeaten on 11.

Adelaide Oval curator unhappy with pitch

Adelaide Oval curator Damian Hough has taken blame for the pitch prepared for this week’s Test against the West Indies after questions were raised about the lack of bounce during the match.

Hough opted to use Legend Couch grass for the first day Test in January since 2012, but was unhappy with the carry through to the wicketkeeper, with several edges falling short.

At one point on Day 2, the West Indies got a wicket with a catch by Justin Greaves at third slip, who wearing a helmet and stood far forward of the rest of the cordon – a ball after an edge had fallen short of the cordon.

“Unfortunately, we’re happy with certain things of it, but there’s certain parts like the consistency or the ball dying through to the keeper early that we are probably not as happy with,” said Hough.

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“I’ll put my hand up and say we probably haven’t got it quite perfect.”

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Hough also suggested that the drop-in pitch would not feature the same type of grass next year, when India head to South Australia.

“Right now, I’d probably say not,” he said.

“But we’ll assess it. I actually didn’t want anyone to know it was legend grass, but it got out there through Nathan Lyon.”

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