Khawaja prepared to open with Warner

Sydney, Dec 19 (IANS) Australian left-handed batsman Usman Khawaja on Saturday said he is prepared to come in as opener alongside David Warner for the Boxing Day Test against West Indies.

Khawaja missed the opening Test due to a hamstring injury and is now set to put it under stress again as he takes on the field for Sydney Thunder on Sunday.

“It doesn’t bother me batting anywhere in the top six, I wouldn’t want to bat seven. I’m easy, in first-class cricket I’ve batted every position from one to six. If they wanted me to bat one, three, five, I’ll still approach the game in the same sort of manner. That’s not a big deal to me,” Khawaja was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“There’s been plenty of times where I’ve been there the second ball batting, there’s not a big difference batting three or opening at times, at other times there is. Sometimes I can be in there in the 30th over batting at three, but it’s just a mindset sort of thing. I grew up all my life opening; I started playing for New South Wales (NSW) at five and six, so I’ve had a bit of both,” he said.

The 29-year-old also said he has almost recovered from the injury and is doing well now.

“I had to do some hamstring tests, they went really well, a big improvement from where I was a week ago. I’ve done fitness tests all the way through the last four weeks, yesterday was probably the final one … it tests your hamstring strength. I had to make sure I was above a certain number and make sure my left and right were within a certain number so there wasn’t a big discrepancy.”

“I got through that really well, so happy with it,” he said.

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