Australia’s skipper Pat Cummins reckons it will be pretty hard to drop Usman Khawaja after the left-hander scored twin centuries at the Sydney Cricket Ground against England in the fourth Ashes Test, which ended in a humdinger draw.
Khawaja, who was making a comeback into the Test team after a long hiatus of 16 months, scored 137 runs in the first innings and then followed it with an unbeaten knock of 101 runs in the second dig.
Thus, the southpaw has made a rollicking return to the Test team and he would aim to continue the good show if he gets another opportunity. Khawaja had replaced Travis Head in the fourth Test match, who was ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19.
However, Head is all set to rejoin the Australian squad after completing seven days in isolation and recovering from the virus. Head had scored a match-winning knock of 152 runs in the opening Ashes Test match at the Gabba and he was awarded the Player of the match. Consequently, Australia’s team management and selectors will definitely have selection headaches for the final Test match.
“I’ll preface it by saying I’m not a selector, but when someone comes out and hits twin hundreds, it’s pretty hard to go past them for the week after,” Cummins said after the drawn fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“So we’ll work through that, the selectors will work through that in the next few days. But when someone’s running hot, has got a heap of experience like Uzzy, the way he plays is fantastic.”
Meanwhile, Khawaja can also bat up the order and he could replace Marcus Harris, who has failed to get a big score under his belt. Cummins feels Khawaja is a versatile batter and he can bat anywhere in the batting order.
“I guess that’s why he was the spare batter and picked in the squad originally,” Cummins said. “It felt like he could replace any batter one-to-six really well. He’s hugely versatile.” “I know there’s been question marks historically on him playing over in Asia, but you see how well he’s played spin recently,” he said.
“Reverse sweeping, sweeping. He’s just someone who is in total command of his game, and that’s why you love experience.
The fifth Ashes Test will be played at Hobart from January 14.