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September 11,2018

Australia should pick and stick with Khawaja, says Watson

AFP

SYDNEY: Shane Watson wants Australia’s selectors to give players, starting with Usman Khawaja, a longer run in the Test playing XI.

With Steve Smith and David Warner in the middle of their 12-month bans and Cameron Bancroft out till at least the end the year, Australia have a dearth of senior batsmen to pick from.

Khawaja is one of them, along with Shaun Marsh, and he is likely to be picked in the side for the two-Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates in October, given the excellent form he has displayed in Australia A’s tour of India. He scored a 101* against India B in a List A match, and then followed it up with a 127 in the first four-day game against India A.

Watson, however, said it wasn’t enough to just pick Khawaja, but stick with him during the lean phases. “I hope Uzzie gets a really good run,” Watson told cricket.com.au. “He’s one of our world-class batsmen, across all formats.

“He just needs to have the confidence instilled in him by the selectors and by the coaching staff, to let him play with the freedom he does when he’s at his best. We don’t have a lot of world-class batsmen at the moment around Australian cricket and he’s absolutely one.” —


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