Steven Smith hints at Usman Khawaja selection

Steven Smith (left) backs Usman Khawaja to come good in Bangladesh
Steven Smith (left) backs Usman Khawaja to come good in Bangladesh
©REUTERS
 

Australia captain Steven Smith has backed Queensland batsman Usman Khawaja to play a major role for the baggy green team this summer.

Khawaja, who was a regular member of the Test side, dropped out of contention during the Test series in Sri Lanka where he was left out for the third and final game prior to which he managed just 55 runs in four innings.

Despite making a successful comeback during the home series against South Africa and Pakistan in which he amassed 412 runs from six games, he was overlooked for the four Tests against India earlier this year with his ability to combat spin friendly conditions coming under the scanner.

Smith, who will lead Australia in the two-match Test series in Bangladesh has urged on the need to give the 30-year-old decent match practice ahead of the crucial Ashes series that begins in November.

"I think Usman's going to be a really big player for us this summer," Smith told local media.

"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."

Khawaja failed to make impact in the practice game in Darwin as he was dismissed cheaply in both the innings but Smith insists he is ready to move to number four, if the Queenslander makes it to the final XI.

"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."

Australia are scheduled to play a warm-up game in Fatullah before taking on Bangladesh in the two match Test series that kicks-off on 27th August.

© Cricket World 2017