Pakistan v Australia Test - Men's

Injured Khawaja likely to require surgery

Left-hander to meet with a surgeon upon return home after suffering meniscal tear; Pakistan skipper ruled out of day four

Louis Cameron, in Abu Dhabi

19 October 2018, 04:33 PM

Khawaja likely to require knee surgery

Australia have been dealt an enormous injury blow with star batsman Usman Khawaja in doubt for the start of the home Test summer.

It was confirmed today that the left-hander will likely require surgery on his left knee after a training mishap during the second Test in Abu Dhabi.

Khawaja went for scans late on Thursday, which revealed that although he has not re-torn his anterior cruciate ligament, he has suffered a meniscal tear.

The first of four Tests against India begins in Adelaide on December 6.

Pakistan dominate to close in on Test victory

Australia have, however, not ruled the left-hander out of batting in their second innings today, despite the 31-year-old noticeably limping when he arrived at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium this morning.

Even if Khawaja does bat, the time he's spent off the field prevents him from coming in higher than No.7 during the first two hours of the innings.

The visitors will resume today on 1-47, chasing 538 to win with two full days left to play.

Khawaja twisted his left knee awkwardly during a throwing drill in Australia's warm-ups on Thursday, with the injury sidelining him for the entire day's play.

The left-hander has previously had problems with his left knee, tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in 2014 in an innocuous training mishap with the Sydney Thunder. The injury saw him ruled out of action for seven months.

He is expected to see a knee surgeon on his return to Australia to weigh up how to treat the injury. 

Khawaja has been Australia's leading batsman during the two-Test series with 229 runs at 76 and played one of the finest innings in recent memory in the series-opener to save the first Test.

Australia have also been managing spearhead Mitchell Starc through this Test after he picked up a hamstring niggle. He only bowled seven overs in Pakistan’s second innings and just three overs on day three.

Bizarre scenes in Abu Dhabi as Azhar is run out

Pakistan, meanwhile, have confirmed that captain Sarfraz Ahmed has gone to hospital and will not take to the field on day four, with Asad Shafiq to take over as skipper.

Sarfraz was on 33 in Pakistan’s second innings when he ducked into a Peter Siddle bouncer and was struck on the helmet. The batsman brushed off the blow at the time and went on to score 81 off 123 balls.

Substitute Mohammad Rizwan will fill be permitted to stand in as wicketkeeper on day four despite not being part of the XI for this Test. The Laws of Cricket were changed recently to allow sub fielders to keep wicket.

The Marylebone Cricket Club made the rule-tweak last year to ensure non-specialist keepers were not being put in danger. The umpires must be satisfied the designated keeper has suffered a genuine injury to approve the swap.

Rizwan will not be able to bat, bowl or act as captain, as per the MCC's guidelines.

West Indies made use of the new regulations earlier this month after keeper Shane Dowrich injured his knee and was replaced by Jahmar Hamilton, who had not been picked in the original XI.

Qantas Tour of the UAE

Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc

Pakistan Test squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez

Oct 7-11: First Test, drawn

Oct 16-20: Second Test, Abu Dhabi