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Usman Khawaja returns to Australia squad for second Test

Usman Khawaja returns to Australia squad for second Test
Usman Khawaja has recovered from the hamstring injury he sustained in the second Test against New Zealand in Perth.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australia batsman Usman Khawaja has been included in the 13-man squad to face West Indies in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.

The 28-year-old made a strong comeback to international cricket with scores of 121 and 174 in his last two innings against New Zealand in the recently concluded Trans-Tasman trophy.

However, Khawaja sustained a hamstring injury while fielding in the second Test against New Zealand in Perth which forced him to miss the next two games for Australia.

Shaun Marsh, who replaced Khawaja in the Australian XI scored a vital 49 in Adelaide during the day-night Test against New Zealand and went on to score a massive 182-run knock in the first Test against West Indies in Hobart posing a healthy problem to the selectors. 

Adam Voges himself came up with a man of the match performance in the Test against West Indies with a special unbeaten knock of 269 runs from 285 deliveries.

Praising Marsh and Voges for their contributions in the game against West Indies, Australian captain Steven Smith admitted that the return of Khawaja will pose headache to the selectors ahead of the second Test. 

"I'm sure it gives the selectors a few headaches but I think that's a great thing," Smith said.

"I thought Shaun played beautifully throughout this Test match. Him and Voges certainly changed the course of the game.

"It was 3 for 120 and the game was in the balance. Those guys put on a terrific partnership and set the game up for us." 

Apart from Khawaja, the selectors have recalled left-arm-spinner Steve O'Keefe for the third Test which is scheduled to be played in Sydney on 3rd January. 

Australian squad for second and third Tests

David Warner, Joe Burns, Steven Smith (captain), Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill (wkt), James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Usman Khawaja, Steve O'Keefe (only third Test)

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