Australian skipper Steve Smith has backed the selection of left-handed batsman Usman Khawaja. Khawaja was selected in the squad that will face Bangladesh in a two-match away series. “I think Usman’s going to be a really big player for us this summer,” Smith told.
Talking about his ability and performances in Australia, the captain insisted that he has done exceptionally well at home over the last couple of years.
“He’s done incredibly well in Australia over the last couple of years and it would be good for him to (play) some cricket… he’s chomping at the bit to get out there and I daresay he’ll get his opportunity.”
Mentioning about the batting positions, Smith suggested that if Khawaja makes his way in the playing XI, the captain would go down a slot.
“I’d say if Usman plays he’ll probably bat three and I’ll slot in at four,” he said. “I see Usman as more of a top-order batsman and I don’t really have a big issue, whether it’s three or four — I won’t go lower than that,” he added. Australia are scheduled to begin the Test series against Bangladesh from August 27.
Earlier, Khawaja talked about Bangladesh side to cricket.com.au and said, “They’re very good in their backyard, much like India.”
“Their wickets are very similar to those in India. It will be a challenge. It’s a tough tour to go to because I haven’t been to Bangladesh before and from all reports, it’s a very congested country, getting around is pretty tough, very different to what we experience in Australia. People think of Bangladesh ‘It’s an easy win, it’s only Bangladesh’ but it’s not like that anymore. They’re very competitive at home so it’s going to be a very good series.”
Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Ashton Agar, Jackson Bird, Hilton Cartwright, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, James Pattinson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade.