Usman Khawaja Added To Australia Squad

Usman Khawaja Added To Australia Squad
Usman Khawaja Added To Australia Squad
©Action Images / Jason O'Brien Livepic

Batsman Usman Khawaja has been added to Australia's squad for the first Ashes Test against England in Brisbane as a standby for Michael Clarke.

As Clarke continues to struggle with a lower back injury, the selectors have again called for Khawaja after he was initially named in a 17-man provisional squad but released as the squad was trimmed to 13.

“Michael Clarke is recovering from a lower back injury sustained in a recent Sheffield Shield game and is expected to train tomorrow and Wednesday," Cricket Australia physio Alex Kountouris said.

"He is making good progress in this recovery and further assessment regarding his availability for selection will be made following the next two days of training.”

National Selection Panel Chairman Andrew Hilditch added:

“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. Usman has been added as a result of his strong recent domestic form and the NSP’s belief that should the opportunity arise he has the ability to perform well at the international level.

“We intend to give Michael as much time as possible to prove his fitness and a decision on his availability will be made in consultation with the team’s medical staff after the next two days of training.”

Australia squad for first Ashes Test: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Doug Bollinger, Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin, Ben Hilfenhaus, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Marcus North, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Usman Khawaja, Shane Watson

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