Ashes: NSW’s Usman Khawaja called in as cover for injured ClarkeNovember 22nd, 2010 - 5:24 pm ICT by ANI
Sydney/Brisbane (Australia), Nov.22 (ANI): The Australian selectors have called in New South Wales middle-order batsman Usman Khawaja as cover for injured vice-captain Michael Clarke for the first Ashes Test to be played against England at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris confirmed that 29-year-old Clarke is no certainty to play due to ongoing concerns over his degenerative back injury.
Kountouris said Clarke missed the extended session at Allan Border Field with a view to being right for net sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Gabba.
Khawaja boasts a first-class average of 50.24 in 24 matches.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 23-year-old’s selection in the squad comes despite making 13 and 0 for Australia A against England last week in Hobart, where another contender, Callum Ferguson, also failed twice with scores of 7 and 10.
However the inclusion of Khawaja is a snub for young all-rounder Steve Smith, who was in the original 13-man squad but seemingly has been pushed back in the queue in favour of left-hander Khawaja.
“As there is some doubt over Michael Clarke’s fitness for the Brisbane Test match, it was felt prudent to bring a standby player into the squad,” chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said.
“Usman has been added as a result of his strong recent domestic form,’ Hilditch added. (ANI)
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Tags: allan border, australian selectors, back injury, border field, brisbane australia, callum, captain michael, first ashes test, gabba, hilditch, khawaja, man squad, michael clarke, new south wales, steve smith, sydney morning herald, team physiotherapist, test match, usman, vice captain