Setback for Australia as Travis Head Tests Positive for COVID-19 Before Gabba Clash with WI

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Setback for Australia as Travis Head Tests Positive for COVID-19 Before Gabba Clash with WI
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Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed on Monday that Travis Head, the wicketkeeper-batter, has tested positive for COVID-19. Despite this setback, Head will play in the second Test against West Indies at the Gabba, Brisbane, following team isolation protocols.

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Head, who earned the Player of the Match award in the first Test at Adelaide, fell ill after the match and was later diagnosed with COVID.

Australia faced a challenge with Head likely sidelined for a significant part of the Adelaide Test. However, positive news arrived as opener Usman Khawaja has been declared fit to play after successfully passing regular fitness tests. Khawaja, who experienced a delayed concussion due to a blow to the helmet grille and jaw, is set to join the team for the second Test.

“Usman Khawaja has been cleared to play the second Test match against the West Indies in Brisbane,” a team spokesperson stated. “Khawaja was assessed again today and has no symptoms of delayed concussion. He will train at the Gabba tomorrow.”

With Khawaja’s return, Australia is expected to maintain an unchanged playing XI from the Adelaide Test, aiming to secure a series win against the visitors.

Australia’s bowling attack for the second Test will feature their three frontline pacers – Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Mitchell Starc – along with spinner Nathan Lyon. This marks the first time since the 2013-14 series against England that Australia will stick with an unchanged bowling lineup for five consecutive matches.

Captain Pat Cummins expressed:

“At the start of the summer, I didn’t think it was going to be the case. But it’s shaping up that way, which is a huge nod to the fitness of the guys and the medical team and a couple of helpful wickets.”

The second Test is scheduled to begin on January 25 at the Gabba, where Australia aims to strengthen its position on the World Test Championship (WTC) 2023-25 table.

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