The Ashes: Cummins backs Khawaja to keep place

09 January 2022 21:51:45 GMTPlus10
Khawaja set to keep his place

Usman Khawaja looks set to keep his place in the Australian side for the fifth Ashes Test in Hobart after captain Pat Cummins admitted it would be hard to leave him out.

Australia lead the Ashes series 3-0 and after England hung on to secure a draw in the fourth Test Cummins and co will be keen to bounce back with a win in Tasmania.

Khawaja the star

Despite the disappointment of only drawing at the SCG the performance of Khawaja was the highlight after he scored back-to-back centuries on his return to the Test side.

Khawaja was called in to to replace the sick Travis Head in Sydney and responded in fine fashion to give the Aussie selectors a real headcahe.

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Cummins braced for tougher times

A decision will be made in due course but Cummins admits it would be harsh to take Khawaja out following such a dominant Test with the bat.

"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.

"So we’ll work through that, the selectors will work through that the next few days. But when someone’s running hot, has got a heap of experience like Uzzy, the way he plays is fantastic."

Harris under pressure

Another option would be to take the struggling Marcus Harris out of the side and let Khawaja open the batting with David Warner and Cummins has back him to play there also.

"I guess that’s why he was the spare batter and picked in the squad originally," Cummins added. "It felt like he could replace any batter from No.1 to No.6 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.

"Reverse sweeping, sweeping. He’s just someone who is in total command of his game and that’s why you love experience."

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