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Usman Khawaja admits leaving out Steve Smith would be hard for Australia
By SMCS - Jun 1, 2024 9:00 am
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Australian Test opener Usman Khawaja said that it would have been a tough decision to leave Steve Smith out of the T20 World Cup 2024 squad. However, Khawaja added that such has been Australia’s depth that the selectors had no choice but to leave Smith. Keeping in mind Smith’s T20 World Cup record and his recent performance in T20Is, the selectors decided to drop him as well.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Speaking to Wide World of Sports, Khawaja said, “He’s been such a great player for such a long time, but it was always one of those cases where you have to look at team balance, and it was getting harder to figure out. You had Marsh, Head, and Warner up the top and then you sort of have to figure out ‘well, where do you want to put Smudge? Four? Is that his best position, or do you think he’s better at the top? Khawaja said.”I’m sure the decision wasn’t made lightly – Smudge had been such a terrific player for such a long time (but) it’s just the progression of the game. It’s never easy to fit 15 players, and I’m sure it was a very hard decision in a lot of respects.”

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In 19 T20 World Cup games, Steve Smith has scored only 190 runs and was part of the squad in 2010 that ended as the runners-up as well. With the selectors sticking to David Warner instead of the in-form Jake Fraser-McGurk despite the latter’s form in IPL 2024 and Khawaja backed this decision.

David Warner
David Warner

“When you get into a pressure situation of a tournament, you would always want a little bit more experience than not. I think Fraser is probably only going be a chance to bat in one of the opening slots the way he’s going at the moment … so who do you leave out? Warner or Head? Heady’s been on fire, then you’ve got someone like Dave who’s got the experience. You don’t want to leave experience out when it comes to World Cup situations – you play clutch matches, you play do-or-die matches and experience normally always trumps that,” Usman Khawaja concluded.