Usman Khawaja will return if fit - Mark Waugh
Former Australian cricketer and current selector Mark Waugh indicated that Usman Khawaja will return to the playing XI for the second Test against West Indies provided he is able to prove his fitness.
Khawaja picked up a hamstring injury in the second Test of the Trans-Tasman Trophy in Perth and was sidelined for the Adelaide and Hobart Tests against New Zealand and West Indies respectively.
Earlier this month, Khawaja revealed that he is nearing full fitness and was also hopeful of making it back in time for the Boxing Day Test against West Indies.
Speaking about Khawaja's selection, Waugh stated that it will be tough to keep away a player, who has scored two centuries in his previous two Test matches.
“If Usman is fit, assuming he is, he’s got to come back in,” Waugh said on Fox Sport’s Inside Cricket program on Wednesday.
“That’s not nailed down, but he has two hundreds in his last two Test matches, so you’d imagine he comes back in.”
If Khawaja proves his fitness and makes it back into the playing XI, he is most likely to replace either Joe Burns or Shaun Marsh.
After a fantastic first Test against New Zealand in Brisbane, Burns has gone five innings without a fifty, while Marsh brought up a big hundred in the Hobart Test against West Indies.
Though it will be a tough call on whoever misses out, Waugh felt that it is a good situation for Australian cricket, with so many players among the runs.
“So it’s probably a shootout between Joe Burns and Shaun Marsh,” Waugh said.
“Someone will be very unlucky, but it’s a good position to be in, we’ve got lots of good players there now scoring runs.
“It’s going to be tough on one of those guys.”
Backing Marsh for the number five spot Australian captain Steven Smith admitted that it will be a tough call for the selectors ahead of the second Test in Melbourne.
“He (Shaun Marsh) has done really well there (at number five) and Khawaja, I think, can slot anywhere in the top three.
“Obviously it’s a big decision to make and I’ll back whatever they (the selectors) decide.”
Australia have the opportunity to win the Frank-Worrell Trophy for the eighth successive time, if they win the Boxing Day Test match against West Indies in Melbourne.
© Cricket World 2015