Australia batter Travis Head will miss the first half of the ODI World Cup 2023 in India with his participation in the rest of the tournament also uncertain. A short delivery from Proteas seamer Gerald Coetzee struck on the left glove in the fourth ODI against South Africa last week. Head coach Andrew McDonald revealed that Head will miss the three-match ODI series against India beginning on Friday. He doesn't require surgery but the Australian selectors need to decide whether to carry him until his return or not.
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Head's injury leaves the door for Labuschagne, who did not make Australia's 15-member provisional squad. However, the Test star put up a tremendous display in the ODIs against South Africa, finishing as the leading run-scorer.
"The timeframe is still a bit loose at the moment but the good news is he doesn't require surgery as it sits at the moment. There will be an extended period of time out and we've just got to weigh up whether that time (out) falls with an option to carry him through the front half of the World Cup," McDonald said.
"There's no doubt he won't be available for the front half, so that's a decision we'll have to make for the final 15. But I can't give you an exact time frame." The ODI World Cup 2023 will start from October 5.
"I can't talk on behalf of the selection panel and lock him away in the World Cup 15 but it's no doubt looking likely," McDonald added.
"We know Marnus is a quality player and he probably didn't have the 12-18 months in one-day cricket that he would have liked. But he's no doubt taken that opportunity with both hands and there's no doubt he'll be front and centre when it comes to that 15-man squad down the track," he further added.
In Head's absence, Mitchell Marsh is likely to open for the Aussies. Australia will take on India in Chennai on October 8 in their World Cup opener. The last date to make changes to the squad is September 28.