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Cricket: Selectors protecting Khawaja fitness

Cricket Australia are playing it safe with Usman Khawaja as the opening batsman continues to be rested ahead of a hectic summer.

The main focus of attention right now is Australia’s bid to win the 2023 World Cup and they are on a hot winning streak at the moment.

The Aussies are priced at 3.75 to win the World Cup, and then all focus will turn to a summer of Test Match cricket down under.

Khawaja is key to Australia doing well so it is no surprise to see management wrapping him in cotton wool.

Here is the latest situation with the veteran batsman and what is on the horizon for him.

Australia’s summer schedule

Australia’s main focus is winning the World Cup out in India but it will not be long before the summer of cricket on home soil gets underway.

The team will get a short break after the World Cup before heading back to Australia for three Test matches against Pakistan.

The first Test will begin on 14th December and will take place at Optus Stadium in Perth, before the teams head to Melbourne and the MCG for the iconic Boxing Day Test.

Sydney and the SCG will host the third Test from 3rd to 7th January.

Australia will then switch their attention to the West Indies and will play two Test matches.

The first Test will take place in Adelaide from 17th to 21st January, the second Test at the Gabba in Brisbane from 25th to 29th January.

Once the Test series is done, Australia and West Indies will play three ODIs and three T20s.

The ODIs will take place first of all and will be played at the MCG, SCG and the Manuka Oval in Canberra.

The T2OIs will follow with the games being played at the Blundstone Arena in Tasmania, the Adelaide Oval and Optus Stadium in Perth.

Khawaja wrapped in cotton wool

With such a busy schedule on the horizon it comes as no surprise to see Cricket Australia managing key opening batsman Khawaja.

Khawaja showed how important he is to the side during the recent Ashes series over in England and Australia want him fresh for Pakistan and West Indies.

He will turn 37 this December, and although there is plenty of good cricket left in him, players of that age do have to be managed.

With that in mind Khawaja is sitting out the Sheffield Shield matches for Queensland in order to rest up.

Queensland have confirmed there is no issue with Khawaja’s health, he is fully fit and available to play, but everyone is agreed it is best to leave him out.

Khawaja was rested for the Sheffield Shield clash with Victoria, and also has his feet up while Queensland take on Tasmania.

The 36-year-old will soon begin his preparations for the opening Test against Pakistan and Australia will be hoping the rest has done him the world of good.

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