Khawaja’s form demands immediate recall to Australian team: Mark Waugh

Melbourne, Dec 17 (IANS) Australia’s selector Mark Waugh on Thursday said batsman Usman Khawaja will return to the playing XI against the West Indies for the Boxing Day Test match if he recovers from a hamstring injury.

Waugh, however, added that no final decision had been made, but feels Khawaja’s form prior to his injury demands an immediate recall.

“If Usman is fit, assuming he is, he’s got to come back in,” Waugh was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia’s website.

“That’s not nailed down, but he has two hundreds in his last two Test matches, so you’d imagine he comes back in.”

Khawaja will be playing for the Sydney Thunder in a Big Bash T20 league match on Sunday where his fitness will be scrutinised intensely.

If he shows satisfactory fitness levels, the selectors will face the choice to stick or twist with an opener to partner David Warner.

“So it’s probably a shootout between Joe Burns and Shaun Marsh,” Waugh added.

“Someone will be very unlucky, but it’s a good position to be in, we’ve got lots of good players there now scoring runs.

“It’s going to be tough on one of those guys.”

The 28-year-old has been named in the 13-man Test squad for the Boxing Day (December 26) clash with the West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), alongside both Burns and Marsh.

Australia won the first Test by an innings and 212 runs.

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