Usman Khawaja Returns to Team Australia for First Ash Test

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Usman Khawaja Returns to Team Australia for First Ash Test

Brisbane. Mid-level hitter Usman Khawaja has been inducted into Australia’s 15-man squad for the first Test of the Ashes series against England starting next month. The 34-year-old has not played for Australia since he was eliminated during the 2019 Ashes series, but he has done well for Queensland in national cricket, challenging Travis Head for a spot in the middle order. The Ashes’ first game will begin on December 8 at Khawaja’s home in the Gabba. Prior to this, Australia will play a test match between December 1-3 at another field in Brisbane.

Australian coach George Bailey said Khawaja is in good shape at Sheffield Shield. So far, Khawaja has scored runs in 44 test matches with an average of 41, including eight centuries. “He adds calm and feel to the hitting lineup and he’s done well at the test level,” Bailey said. Apart from this, he can hit in any position in the batting order.

On the team led by goalie-hitter Tim Paine, Marcus Harris is likely to continue with David Warner as the starting partner, while Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith will hit at number three and four. The fast bowling trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc will be supported by Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser, while veteran Nathan Lyon has been caught and clumsy Mitchell Swepson.

Mitchell Marsh, the hero of their eight-field victory over New Zealand in the T20 World Cup final, has not been named to the squad and the selectors have relied on Cameron Green as the all-rounder. Marsh, however, has been inducted into Australia’s A-team.

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Australia Test Equipment: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson, Michael Neser, Mitchell Swepson.

Australia A: Sean Abbott, Ashton Egger, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Henry Hunt, Josh Inglis, Nick Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Renshaw, Mark Steketty, Bryce Street.

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