The Ashes: Aussies leave out Harris for Khawaja

14 January 2022 00:19:37 GMTPlus10
Khawaja keeps hos spot

Australia have rejigged the top of the batting order for the fifth Ashes Test with with Usman Khawaja set to open with David Warner, meaning no place for Marcus Harris.

Khawaja impressed when hitting centuries in both innings of the fourth Test on his return to the side and is priced at 12/1 to be the top batter for Australia.

Harris struggles

Harris has had a tough time this summer when struggling for runs and with Travis Head back available for the fifth Test in Hobart his axing comes as no real surprise.

Head will slip back into the middle order with Khawaja moving up alongside good friend Warner and captain Pat Cummins is in no doubt he will thrive there.

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"Really confident with Uzzy opening. He's a class player, can bat anywhere," Cummins told reporters on Thursday.

Meanwhile Warner has also backed the decision and cannot wait to open with his friend from childhood.

"We started out throwing balls against the wall, playing classic catches while watching our brothers play cricket," Warner said on SEN. "We've grown a special bond. I understand Usman and his culture very well, growing up with him.

"He's been a bit misunderstood with the way he goes about practising and playing. He's always backed himself, always proved the critics wrong. I'm just so proud of how he's held his head high."

Boland decision

Meanwhile Australia will make a late call on the fitness of fast bowler Scott Boland who picked up an injury on the final day of the fourth Test.

"He'll just have a bowl and judge it. He feels a little bit better than he did a few days ago," Cummins said. "He bowled 30-40 overs (in Sydney) after he did the injury, which gives us a lot of confidence he can get through it.

"He said it's an injury he is confident doesn't get worse with heaps of bowling, it's just a lot of pain. So hopefully he can manage that. He's played enough, he'll be honest."

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