If Warner can’t play, Khawaja goes in and opens the batting: Ricky Ponting

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Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting picked Usman Khawaja as David Warner’s replacement for the second Ashes Test in case the latter is ruled out of the match due to an injury. Warner did not field on Friday after being hit in the chest during Australia’s first innings.

Cricket.com.au quoted Ponting as saying that Khawaja can come in place of Warner if needed. The former Aussie opener commented, “If (Warner) can’t play, I think it’s probably Khawaja that goes in and opens the batting. Although he hasn’t done it the last couple years for Queensland he’s done it for Australia before.”

“He’s obviously in really good form, so I think that’s probably the way to go. I think he’s experienced enough, but the fact he hasn’t done it for a while would be a bit of a concern,” Ponting added.

The former Aussie captain added that it was worrying Warner did not come out to field at all. He further stated that everyone will have a better idea about his status when or if he bats in the second innings.

“I noticed that after he got hit, he came out after one of the breaks and you could see that he had a little (chest) guard over that area. I got a bit worried about it then because I’ve never seen him with a chest guard on before,” Ponting said.

“Even if it’s just bruising, I would think that he’d be out there fielding so there might be a bit more to it than what we’re hearing,” Punter opined.

Warner missed out on a hundred by six runs in Australia’s first innings. He was out for 94 off 176, caught by Ben Stokes off Ollie Robinson. The Aussies posted 425 in their first innings, responding to England’s 147 as Travis Head top-scored with 152

England put up a much better fight in their second innings. Skipper Joe Root was unbeaten on 86 and Dawid Malan on 80 as the visitors ended Day 3 of the first Ashes Test on 220 for 2. England, however, still trail Australia by 58 runs.

–By A Cricket Correspondent