Ashes: If Warner is injured, Khawaja can open the batting, says Ponting

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Melbourne [Australia], December 10 (ANI): Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting feels Usman Khawaja can replace David Warner for the second Ashes Test if the opening batter is ruled out of the game due to an injury.

England and Australia are currently playing the first Ashes Test. Warner on Friday did not take the field after receiving blows on the chest while batting on day two of the first Test.

“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,” cricket.com.au quoted Ponting as saying.

“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,” he added.

The Australia opening batter received a brutal blow on the same spot while fielding from England’s Ben Stokes which further put Warner in discomfort.

“It’s a worry that he’s not out there at all. We’ll have a better idea when he bats or if he bats at all in the second innings,” said Ponting.

“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,” he added.

“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,” Ponting further said.

Coming to the game, Joe Root and Dawid Malan kept staged England’s fightback as the two batters steadied the visitors’ ship by the end of Day 3 of the ongoing first Ashes Test here at the Gabba, Brisbane on Friday.

At the Stumps, England’s score read 220/2– trailing by 58 runs. Malan and Root have played unbeaten knocks of 80 and 86 runs respectively. (ANI)

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