Snubbed Usman Khawaja not pinning hopes on Ashes recall

first_imgHaving been pulled out of Australia’s one-day team to prepare for India, then ignored by selectors for every match in the subcontinent, batsman Usman Khawaja is guarded about his chances of winning a Test recall for the Ashes.The stylish number three suffered a further blow on Thursday when he was left out of Australia’s one-day squad for next month’s Champions Trophy in England and Wales.Being excluded from the nation’s formidable one-day team is nothing to be ashamed about given the batting riches at selectors’ disposal.However, the India snub was a bitter pill to swallow for a player who had averaged 66.75 in the preceding Test series against Pakistan after topping the runs list in a losing cause against South Africa.Rubbing salt into the wounds, Khawaja was left to carry the drinks during the four-test series in India and watch his replacement Shaun Marsh manage only 151 runs at an average of 18.87 from his eight innings.”The most frustrating thing for me was not to play those three ODIs in New Zealand,” Khawaja told Fox Sports (www.foxsports.com.au).”I got pulled out of that series to prepare for India and then not playing was a bit hard.”The plain-spoken Khawaja has had a frosty relationship with selectors in the past.As Australia lurched to an emphatic defeat in Sri Lanka last year, he was axed, somewhat harshly, for the third and final Test along with opener Joe Burns.He made his displeasure with selectors clear.Still stinging from the omission, Khawaja told local media he and Burns were “scapegoats” for the team’s wider failures, an indiscretion that earned him a quiet “chat” with coach Darren Lehmann.advertisementFormer players and media pundits have repeatedly accused Australia’s selectors of being poor communicators and particularly ham-fisted in their handling of dropped players.But Khawaja said there were no hard feelings from his India disappointment, with Lehmann having gone out of his way to let him down easily.”To Boof’s credit I had a chat to him about all that stuff and he came up to me and he actually knew where I was at in that things had not worked out,” said the Pakistan-born 30-year-old.Khawaja is likely to be restored to Australia’s top order for the Ashes, given the left-hander’s fine record on home pitches over the past two seasons.But he has learnt not to look too far ahead.”It is the pinnacle of cricket when you represent Australia – playing against the old enemy,” he said.”But to be frank it is still far away and a lot can happen between now and the Ashes.”last_img read more

Neuer: Germany do not need changes

first_imgGermany No Germany line-up changes needed despite Mexico defeat, says Neuer Josh Challies 20:01 6/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Neuer cropped Getty Images Germany World Cup Germany v Sweden Sweden The world champions were beaten by Mexico in their tournament opener, but the goalkeeper does not expect Joachim Low to ring the changes Manuel Neuer does not believe Germany need to change their starting line-up in response to their 1-0 defeat to Mexico on Sunday.Hirving Lozano’s first-half goal condemned Germany to their first opening defeat at a World Cup since 1982, raising the pressure on the defending champions ahead of clashes against Sweden and South Korea.The last two world champions, Italy and Spain, have both exited the World Cup at the group stages in the defence of their crowns and defeat for Joachim Low’s side against Sweden on Saturday could bring a premature end to their campaign in Russia. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move However, Neuer is confident the squad will respond positively to the defeat against Mexico and, despite Germany’s depth, feels that changes to the line-up are not necessary.”I don’t think we need to take out one or two of the players to bring in new ones,” the captain told reporters on Tuesday.”We’re not thinking about changes in the squad or in the team but the quality is there throughout. For some of the players it’s the first tournament but there are also very experienced players.Last time we lost our opening #WorldCup​ game in 1982, we reached the final Who’s to say we can’t do it again?! #DieMannschaft #ZSMMN pic.twitter.com/5GfLF3kTpg— Germany (@DFB_Team_EN) June 18, 2018″Everyone is raring to go again, in Monday on training it was clear the players were fired up. They were battling and of course battling for places, everybody wants to be involved in the games.”Everyone is desperate to play. We are not scared of giving our own opinion to each other within the squad as to who we think should play.”Germany, like the other nations at the World Cup, are also adjusting to the introduction of VAR and Neuer admits it has had an impact on the squad.”We have a new situation with VAR and those things need to be discussed too. You have to wait to see how the referee decides things and there will be a bit of a break after that,” the 77-cap goalkeeper added.”The decisions are difficult to make and you can’t protest. Only the referee can decide if there’s an offside or not, we have no say in it.”Germany fly to Sochi on Tuesday ahead of the clash against Sweden and Jonas Hector is available again after missing the Mexico defeat with the flu.last_img read more