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Ashes: Usman Khawaja earns a recall in the Australia side for the first two Tests

By BetBarter Staff

November 17, 2021

Australia batter Usman Khawaja has been included in the 15-member strong side for the upcoming Ashes series scheduled to begin on December 8 in Brisbane. The southpaw returns to the Test side after a gap of more than two years. He was last seen playing red-ball cricket for Australia in the 2019 Ashes series in England.

Apart from Khawaja, Australia have also included uncapped leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson as the second spinner in the team along with Nathan Lyon. In the pace department, the George Bailey-led selection panel has included Michael Neser and Jhye Richardson as the backup to the trio Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins. Bailey said Richardson has earned the right to be in the team for performing consistently well in red-ball cricket.

"Jhye is seeing the rewards of concentrating on his red-ball cricket in the build-up to this series," Bailey said according to Cricbuzz. "We know he has an exceptional skill set and are excited about what he brings to the team now his body is back on track.

Meanwhile, Khawaja earned a recall in the squad due to his consistent run-scoring in the Sheffield Shield competition for Queensland this season. The southpaw will most probably slot in the middle-order along with Travis Head.

"Travis finished last summer strongly, second only to Cameron Green for runs scored, and has again started the season well. He drives the game forward and can put the opposition under pressure with his ability to score quickly. Similarly, Usman Khawaja has been in great touch. He brings a calm, consistent and experienced component to the batting lineup and is a proven run-scorer at the Test level. He also has the ability to bat across a range of positions in the batting order."

Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (C), Pat Cummins (VC), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner