Australia were careful about managing its resources and workload ahead of the upcoming ODI World Cup. But little did they know that an external injury, a fractured left hand to Travis Head, would jeopardise their World Cup plans. The southpaw fractured his left hand while attempting a pull against Gerald Coetzee.
While Head did play a few deliveries after the injury, the left-hander walked back holding his hand, making things worse for the Australian side. Australia’s head coach, Andrew McDonald, confirmed that the southpaw has his left-hand fractured and could potentially miss a chunk of World Cup games in India.
"At this stage, it's a confirmed fracture and how long that timeframe is, we're yet to determine that so fingers crossed clearly with the World Cup fast approaching," McDonald after the match.
"I'm not a medical person, but I think it's a little bit higher up than the actual [index] finger itself. But I don't know the actual terminology. It's in a joint somewhere so I won't go into the medical specifics. But, yeah, a confirmed fracture and to be assessed again tomorrow with another scan."
Australia are stung by a host of injuries, including Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell, all of which ruled them out of the South Africa series. During the series, the Kangaroos also lost Cameron Green, who suffered a concussion in the first ODI.
But now, the all-rounder is deemed fit and could replace Head at the top of the order for the final ODI, with the series being tied 2-2.
"He's (Green) been cleared by the medical team," McDonald said. "So he's just working away getting prepared. Hopefully, he's available for game five. That's the plan at this stage. We'll be able to have some training tomorrow, assess that and there will be some forced changes and we'll have some guys potentially a little bit sore. We'll have to manage those guys as well."
Australia play India in a three-match ODI series before facing the same opponent in their World Cup opener on October 8, in Chennai.