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Khawaja walks off concussed after being rattled by a Shamar Joseph bouncer

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Last updated on 19 Jan 2024 | 01:33 AM
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Khawaja walks off concussed after being rattled by a Shamar Joseph bouncer

After getting hit, the opener instantly threw his helmet off and grimaced in pain

Chasing 26 in the fourth innings, after wrapping up the West Indies innings quickly early on Day 3, things were going extremely smoothly for Australia. Both Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja looked in cruise control, and the 16,000 odd spectators at the Adelaide Oval were having a ball, waiting for the inevitable victory.

In the seventh over, with just one more run required, it looked like Khawaja would be the man that would take the Aussies home, but in a scary little moment, the left-hander had to walk off the field concussed, after getting hit flush on his chin by a brutal delivery from Shamar Joseph.

Joseph, who lit up Adelaide on Days 1 & 2 with a five-wicket haul, came charging in and bowled a well directed short ball that did not rise up as much as Khawaja anticipated. The opener took his eyes off the ball and, for a second, turned his head the other way around. The miscalculation proved costly as the 37-year-old got hit bang on his chin.

Khawaja, after getting hit, instantly threw his helmet off and grimaced in pain. He looked rattled, and all those around him, even the West Indies players, sported a look filled with concern.

He underwent a mandatory concussion check but was not cleared by the support staff, who advised the opener to retire hurt as precaution. Khawaja obliged, and walked off the field with 9* to his name.

The left-hander was replaced by Marnus Labuschagne, who finished the job off on just his second ball, pulling Joseph towards square leg to complete the victory. The winning moment was supposed to be a joyous one, but it turned out to be very anticlimactic due to the untimely blow Khawaja suffered. 

With still six days left for the second Test to start, it remains to be seen if Khawaja will recover in time for Gabba. Cricket Australia’s concussion protocols usually requires a concussed player to be monitored for a period of 7-10 days. It was the reason why Glenn Maxwell missed the World Cup contest against England in Ahmedabad, after injuring his face in a freak golf accident. 

Should Khawaja not recover in time, Australia are likely to open with Matt Renshaw, who recently was released from the hosts’ Test squad to play the Big Bash League (BBL) qualifiers. 

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