Australia news January 1, 2013

Khawaja a new man - Lehmann

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Usman Khawaja's increased work ethic and new, more aggressive style will hold him in good stead if he is given an extended run in Test cricket, according to his state coach Darren Lehmann. Khawaja is on standby for Australia's captain Michael Clarke for the third Test against Sri Lanka in Sydney but even if he does not play in that match, he has a strong chance of being installed as the replacement for the retiring Michael Hussey for the upcoming tour of India.

Khawaja, 26, has played six Tests but was dropped last summer and told he needed to work on several aspects of his all-round game, including his fielding and ensuring he rotated the strike while at the crease. His off-season move from New South Wales to Queensland allowed Khawaja to work with Lehmann, a respected coach who has aimed to instil an attacking mindset into his charges over his two seasons at the helm.

"I've been really impressed, he has adapted to a new aggressive style of play that we're really big on in Queensland," Lehmann told ESPNcricinfo of Khawaja's approach this season. "He's adjusted to that really well. We're really impressed with what he's doing and how he's gone about it.

"Technically there weren't too many changes, it was more a mindset with him and getting him to be really aggressive and positive in what he's doing. He's taken that on board. He has improved his fielding, he has improved his work ethic off the ground and we're really pleased for him."

Although Khawaja is not locked in as Hussey's replacement, it is expected he will at the very least be part of Australia's touring squads to India and England this year. In his Test appearances so far, Khawaja has shown promise without posting a big score - he has made 263 runs at 29.22 with only one half-century from 11 innings - and Lehmann said if he was given an extended run in the side it would do his confidence a world of good.

"If he gets a good run at it, that's what you want," Lehmann said. "If he can get that run and he doesn't have that fear of getting dropped straight away, he'll do well. We're pretty confident with where he's at and where he's going. He's a good kid and he's worked really hard to get where he wants to get to."

However, the one area of Khawaja's game that he still needs to improve is his conversion rate of half-centuries to hundreds. During his 2012 count season with Derbyshire, Khawaja passed fifty on seven occasions but only once did he go on to triple figures. For Queensland this summer, Khawaja has managed three half-centuries and one hundred from 11 first-class innings.

"He does have to get big hundreds," Lehmann said. "He's got four or five fifties for us in Shield cricket and only gone on once to get one hundred. We have spoken about conversion rate and that is a big thing, but he's playing that expansive game now so he has to find the happy medium. He will do that."

The one Shield century Khawaja has scored this season was one of the finest the competition has witnessed in a long time, as he cruised to 138 from 178 deliveries on a green seaming Bellerive Oval pitch that was so difficult that no other batsman from either side managed a half-century. Khawaja's work at No. 3 for the Bulls in that game was the reason they were able to complete an innings victory inside three days.

"It was outstanding," Lehmann said. "It was one of the best hundreds I've seen in Shield cricket. I don't think anyone else made fifty runs. It was really impressive."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 2, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    he is the perfect replacement for the great mike hussey. he is all class, all temperament, all focus and scores in difficult conditions and circumstances not to mention he is a great team man. sound familiar? not to mention he is always improving and guys like him, warner and hughes will be entering their prime very soon. exciting times

  • POSTED BY TheBigBoodha on | January 2, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    Khawaja should be a good player in the long term. Aust. shouldn't lose too much with him effectively replacing Hussey. He'll need to up his game a few notches, which I think he can do. However those talking about technique to justify selection are using strange logic. It doesn't matter what your technique is: score runs and you are good. Simple. Quiney looked very correct as he edged those balls to the keeper in his last game, getting a pair. There are a lot of unanswered questions with guys like Khawaja, Hughes, Warner etc, but they also have huge potential in my opinion. So why there is so much negativity around about the future of the Aust. team is beyond me. Personally, I'm excited! Anybody would think they have been getting thumped, and now 6 players had left. In fact they have been winning about 4 times as much as losing these past two seasons, and only two have gone, and one of those wasn't scoring any runs (Ponting). It's hardly the end of the world, just a minor adjustment.

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | January 1, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Boof has been tremendous with Khawaja this year. @Eagle8 very well said. Khawaja is the future of our batting lineup. Khawaja has the most pure technique among the younger batsman as pointed out by Border, Taylor and Inevarity himself. Both Hughes and Khawaja have earned their spots but the issue here is the mistreatment of Khawaja which can't go on forever. He should play the SCG test. And with regards his fielding boof has improved his fielding tremendously this year and he has been snaring some tough chances in slips and covers. Watch some big bash or Ryobi games mate.@Mamboman take some time to watch his innings, i saw his 100 against tasmania this year on a deck where he got 138 and Tasmania got 90 and 130.@Doosra Inventor Khawaja came to Australia when he was 3 years old, Imran Tahir came to Australia in his 20s hardly worth comparing, Khawaja is a product of our system here in Australia.

  • POSTED BY eagle8 on | January 1, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Usman Khawaja is the most technically correct batsman in Australian sheild right now, this guy needs to be given constant run just what lehmann said..he truly is the future of Aussie cricket

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | January 2, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    Ian Jones - Got no issue with foreign born players playing for Australia. The contentious issue is players who learned all there cricketing skills at another country (I forgive the Hick and Wessels as they had no country to represent at the time), but K Peterson, J Trott, D Pattinson, Mullally, A Hollioake, B Hollioake, G Jones to name a few all learned there cricket away from England. The likes of Strauss who played considerable cricket for England at a young age is ok too.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    Henrik, you make valid points but you need to put Phil Hughes in the Hick and Ramps category not just Khawaja!! Hughes's technique is dreadful and has been found out.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    The Aussies love whingeing about South African born players playing for England. How are you going to react with a Pakistani born cricketer playing for Australia? Or for that matter how did you react when other foreign born players played for you? Symonds, Wessles, etc?

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | January 2, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    @Barnsey444 let me correct you, Khawaja was shield player of the year in 2010 and won the Bradman medal in that year which is why he made his debut. The year before he averaged 66 and was again picked in the shield team of the year. He has been in the shield teams of the year for 2009 and 2010 but missed out last year due to being dropped unfairly. What stands him apart are where he got his runs, on absolute green decks where the other teams struggled to match his individual scores, 140 against Tasmania when they got 90, 2 half centuries against NSW when they only got 150 and a 90 odd against South Australia on a green gabba deck on his debut for the Bulls, may i say more or do you need more convincing.

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | January 2, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    mamboman at least the guys a proper test batter whos had to sit out while sloggers get the chance for test baggy green.

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | January 2, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    the pakistani born khawaja will do another sound job he had to come into the picture soon. i thought they would have picked another T20 batter to match warner and hughes good luck to the guy

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 2, 2013, 5:02 GMT

    he is the perfect replacement for the great mike hussey. he is all class, all temperament, all focus and scores in difficult conditions and circumstances not to mention he is a great team man. sound familiar? not to mention he is always improving and guys like him, warner and hughes will be entering their prime very soon. exciting times

  • POSTED BY TheBigBoodha on | January 2, 2013, 0:38 GMT

    Khawaja should be a good player in the long term. Aust. shouldn't lose too much with him effectively replacing Hussey. He'll need to up his game a few notches, which I think he can do. However those talking about technique to justify selection are using strange logic. It doesn't matter what your technique is: score runs and you are good. Simple. Quiney looked very correct as he edged those balls to the keeper in his last game, getting a pair. There are a lot of unanswered questions with guys like Khawaja, Hughes, Warner etc, but they also have huge potential in my opinion. So why there is so much negativity around about the future of the Aust. team is beyond me. Personally, I'm excited! Anybody would think they have been getting thumped, and now 6 players had left. In fact they have been winning about 4 times as much as losing these past two seasons, and only two have gone, and one of those wasn't scoring any runs (Ponting). It's hardly the end of the world, just a minor adjustment.

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | January 1, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Boof has been tremendous with Khawaja this year. @Eagle8 very well said. Khawaja is the future of our batting lineup. Khawaja has the most pure technique among the younger batsman as pointed out by Border, Taylor and Inevarity himself. Both Hughes and Khawaja have earned their spots but the issue here is the mistreatment of Khawaja which can't go on forever. He should play the SCG test. And with regards his fielding boof has improved his fielding tremendously this year and he has been snaring some tough chances in slips and covers. Watch some big bash or Ryobi games mate.@Mamboman take some time to watch his innings, i saw his 100 against tasmania this year on a deck where he got 138 and Tasmania got 90 and 130.@Doosra Inventor Khawaja came to Australia when he was 3 years old, Imran Tahir came to Australia in his 20s hardly worth comparing, Khawaja is a product of our system here in Australia.

  • POSTED BY eagle8 on | January 1, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Usman Khawaja is the most technically correct batsman in Australian sheild right now, this guy needs to be given constant run just what lehmann said..he truly is the future of Aussie cricket

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | January 2, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    Ian Jones - Got no issue with foreign born players playing for Australia. The contentious issue is players who learned all there cricketing skills at another country (I forgive the Hick and Wessels as they had no country to represent at the time), but K Peterson, J Trott, D Pattinson, Mullally, A Hollioake, B Hollioake, G Jones to name a few all learned there cricket away from England. The likes of Strauss who played considerable cricket for England at a young age is ok too.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    Henrik, you make valid points but you need to put Phil Hughes in the Hick and Ramps category not just Khawaja!! Hughes's technique is dreadful and has been found out.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    The Aussies love whingeing about South African born players playing for England. How are you going to react with a Pakistani born cricketer playing for Australia? Or for that matter how did you react when other foreign born players played for you? Symonds, Wessles, etc?

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | January 2, 2013, 11:52 GMT

    @Barnsey444 let me correct you, Khawaja was shield player of the year in 2010 and won the Bradman medal in that year which is why he made his debut. The year before he averaged 66 and was again picked in the shield team of the year. He has been in the shield teams of the year for 2009 and 2010 but missed out last year due to being dropped unfairly. What stands him apart are where he got his runs, on absolute green decks where the other teams struggled to match his individual scores, 140 against Tasmania when they got 90, 2 half centuries against NSW when they only got 150 and a 90 odd against South Australia on a green gabba deck on his debut for the Bulls, may i say more or do you need more convincing.

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | January 2, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    mamboman at least the guys a proper test batter whos had to sit out while sloggers get the chance for test baggy green.

  • POSTED BY bumsonseats on | January 2, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    the pakistani born khawaja will do another sound job he had to come into the picture soon. i thought they would have picked another T20 batter to match warner and hughes good luck to the guy

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | January 2, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    Just to clear up what some are saying here. Khawaja has scored a total of 3 centuries in the last 3 FC seasons. Last season Khawaja averaged 27 with 1 century and no 50's. Two seasons ago he averaged 47 with 1 century. I'll believe he's good enough for test cricket when he proves it.

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | January 2, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    Wow Ross Hambling - Think you were having a go at me but agreed with everything I said, yeah 431is ok and I believe he will be the next selection but does not guarantee his selection. I said he averaged above 60 - think both seasons were 63 when I checked (not above 70 as Hyclass pointed out). That got him into the team the first time round. Its just he hasnt been a stand out since he was dropped. Again if he got a pair in his last game with the LBW he still couldnt be averaging over 50 (431 out 9 times is not above 50). However he was averaging 48 before the last shield game. My opinion on Burns what I have seen is ok but an average of 30 this year is not going to get him a test game.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | January 2, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    @Shaggy76 i hardly think 438 runs is a bad effort, he is well on his way to get a 1000 run season and that on a green pitch shield season is a great effort and i think you need to check your facts, Khawaja was the shield batsman of the year in 2010 and did average above 60 in both 2009 and 2010, i just checked it. I think we can agree that he deserves Hussey's spot and then we can make a call on how he does. Hyclass your knowledge on most player's game is very good, i think most people were not aware that Khawaja was averaging 52 before his last game and about the lbw decsion which got media coverage. What's your thoughts on Joe Burns, he is another talent that i like, what do you think.

  • POSTED BY on | January 2, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Kawaja had an average run, but he has promise much like the majority of NZ and the Aussie A team players. all he needs is that match winning performance/big 100 in a test and he could easily secure his slot no questions. Not every great player got into the team straight away and I am sure this man has the mind set and the resilience to understand it. I mean M Hussey is a great example, not young when he had his debut but became the go to man who secured his spot for some time at the end of his professional career.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | January 2, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    @Jonesy you make a good point, if he can even have 1 series that will give him time to show what he can do, the problem is that he usually gets 1-2 games to prove himself which is not engough. @TheBigBoodha i take your point mate but all that is required is that he get some go, if he gets another series to play and fails then we know that he doesn't belong but you watch him and he looks all class and scores when it matters.I also do see Lehman as a future Australian coach, he brings the best out of all players and under him the Bulls are shield champions and leaders this year.

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | January 2, 2013, 5:05 GMT

    and boof makes a good point about the pressures of being dropped being a huge burden on players. look at how the likes of cowan and lyon have progressed. lessons to be learnt there. boof should be an assistant for arthur

  • POSTED BY Shaggy076 on | January 2, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    Hyclass - I think i need to challenge your stats Khawaja has 438 runs from 11 bats. Even if he got a pair in the last game he wasnt averaging above 50. Im also not sure he was unfairly dropped, they told him what he needed to work on and to his credit he has worked on those issues. I have no doubt when Hussey's batting spot opens up Khawaja will be playing in India. I'm not going to blame the selectors for not picking a bloke averaging 30 with one shield century this season though. He also averaged under 30 last year after getting dropped. RahulAshok - He had two good years averaged 60 both years and was the 7th highest scorer each season.

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | January 2, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    @Hyclass i knew Khawaja was topping the shield table in terms of runs but didn't know he was averagin 52 before that lbw call. Also didn't know he was among the top shield scorers in 2010 2009, it just shows that he has been scoring where it matters for the last 3 years and desrves his opportunity. No doubt that in terms of runs you can't ignore Hughes and Khawaja.@Barnesy4444 he has been scoring consistent 50s in most innings but you are right one more thing to improve on is to convert his 50s into 100s but he is ready to take Hussey's spot.

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | January 2, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    @Hyclass and Moppa make some great points with regards what Barensy44 stated. Most people were not aware that Khawaja was leading the shield scoring till the last shield game and only got taken over by Hughes in the last round, but being second aint that bad. And most poeple forget he was shield batsman in 2010 and second highest scorer in 2009 averaging above 70 in both seasons. The guy is doing the hard yards in the best domestic competition in the world and is ready. Key point again is what Lehman said and that is give him time to settle and don't drop him after 1 game which is what they have done to him

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | January 2, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    @Barnsey4444 i take your point, but keep in mind that Khawaja was averaging 52 before the last shield game in which he got a dubious lbw call hitting his thigh pad, you would have heard Lehman complain about that call in one of the articles on that match. This year he has accumulated close to 500 runs in shield and not counting last year when he was unfairly dropped(which is another topic) he was shield batsman of the year in 2010 and second highest shield scorer in 2009. He has been doing it well for a few years now and deserves all he gets as he looks like a more confident player this year who has gone back and worked on his weakness's.

  • POSTED BY Barnesy4444 on | January 2, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    Khawaja does have talent, but he's only had one good innings this season with an average of 40. It takes more than that to succeed in test cricket. If he can make centuries on a seaming Bellerive then why can't he make runs on flat batting tracks? 10 years ago he wouldn't have had a chance of playing tests. He needs to lift his game.

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | January 2, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    @Junikamra Khawaja is all class and the key point that Lehman makes is that he will do well if he is not under threat to be taken out the next game. Cowan is a good example, having had 12 games in a row he continues to grow and that's what Khawaja will do and i predict even better then what Cowan has done. Just needs a chance and i am predicting will come for the Indian tour.@Vikas i agree with you that he will be dejected if he misses the Indian tour but i don't think they will lose him, he will continue to pile runs and win championships for his state.@The_Ashes i also do see Khawaja as a long term number 3 for us but at present 4 or 6 will be his best position.

  • POSTED BY Sunil_Batra on | January 1, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Hyclass is correct, Khawaja scores when the going is tough and that is precisely why we must get him in, he has worked on what was asked of him and now he is ready. On a side note I was reminded of an incredible stat last night. Only 5 of Mike Hussey's test hundreds have come when another player in the same inings didn't score a hundred and that includes one against the West Indies in Adelaide when Langer scored 99. Interesting.

  • POSTED BY KhanMitch on | January 1, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    Another thing that has stood out for Khawaja is that all his runs have come on tough pitches. Hyclass makes a very good point on this and we need more batsman like him who can score in tough pitches. Long term at number three we have the tailor-made replacement in Usman Khawaja. He has the game to dominate attacks but he is also a classic technically correct batsman and is more likely to score at 40-50 runs per 100 balls and anchor one end of a partnership. He also has good captaincy experience at under-19 level (in a team that included Warner, Wade and Bird) and the 2012 Chairman's XI and could turn into a good asset for Clarke with more experience.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | January 1, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    @Henrik Loven Khawaja is 26 hence has time on his side and will be the mainstay of our batting in the next 5-8 yeears. @Junikamra you are right a very classy bat who has benefited under Lehman and his new adopted state. Given all the issue that have been occuring in NSW cricket it was good timing for him to leave.@Jimbond give it time mate, i am sure you will be surprised by Khawjaa, he has alsready surprised many this season with his form for the Bulls and big bash runs as well.

  • POSTED BY TYJAY on | January 1, 2013, 22:14 GMT

    Well... this will never happen in OZ. It will happen in England, SA or NZ. But not in AUS unfortunately.

  • POSTED BY on | January 1, 2013, 14:29 GMT

    Fans are so funny. When their hero succeeds, it's a sure sign of his greatness but whenever he fails, there are always extenuating circumstances. The opposite is, quite naturally, true of his competitors. When they succeed, it's luck or happenstance. When they fail it's proof of their true merit and how overrated they are in comparison to their hero and possibly even of a conspiracy against him whenever one of them is preferred. The facts are that both Hughes and Marsh have made better use of their test opportunities than Khawaja, thus Hughes - with those twin centuries at Durban - is a likelier prospect. Also, fans of Khawaja would do well to remember the fates of Hick and Ramprakash, two Greats of the modern era who never quite made it internationally in spite of oodles of talent.

  • POSTED BY Junikamra on | January 1, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    usman khawaja is a rel classi player and he deserve a place in plyng 11 in sydney test.. he ia a guy who can can serve aus really well in the middle order but aus selectrz are shaking his confidence by not giving him opportunity... Maxwell is a batsman who can bwl overs in test cricket don't think that he can get 3 or 4 wkts of top order batsman's..he is a spinner who can contain runs but he can't get wkts.. aus are making a mistake if they are thinking that in india he can fulfill the role of second spinner..

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | January 1, 2013, 13:02 GMT

    I think the test matches he played for australia were on quite difficult pitches. Unlike hughes he was given quite tough series to start. But i hope he will be considered for test side soon as being in good form and compettitve and yet not getting rewarded sometimes can dissappoint you and push you way behind.

  • POSTED BY on | January 1, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    CA will loose a tremendous player if they do not give him a chance now in the same manner as they lost a huge part of the Hussey Brothers

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | January 1, 2013, 12:56 GMT

    With the retirement of Hussey, Australia has some big problems. Warner is not bad, but quite unpredictable. Hughes and Khwaja are highly overrated. I hope Watson continues - even as a batsman- he is more effective than the above two. Wade will do well, but otherwise, there is a need to experiment with some new guys. I hope Hughes and Khwaja 'surprise' me, but this is fairly doubtful. It may even make sense to try out guys like David Hussey and the younger Marsh.

  • POSTED BY Edwards_Anderson on | January 1, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    I was critical of him earlier in the season but he has proven me wrong by scoring in shield and showing that his fielding is top notch. He looks so much more aggressive this year then he did last year. And i am sure selectors will reward hi soon, i see him and Hughes as main stays of the Australian batting lineup in the years to come.

  • POSTED BY creekeetman on | January 1, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    basically i agree with mamboman, especially since he's still unable to convert good starts in to 100's. and if he cant do it at shield level, i don't see it happening in tests.

  • POSTED BY Paul_Rampley on | January 1, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    @Mervo Khawaja has been doing well in the big bash but he dominated shield so like you can't wait for shield to start. @Skott i am certain the NSP panel will give Khawaja first crack at the nubmer 6 spot for the Indian series.@Steve Gregory most people don't know that Khawaja has been bowling this season and got Sangakara out in the chairman's X1 match. We al know that his fielding and running between the wickets has improved with alot more intend and urgency in his game which was missing last year but he is also a great man to have around the dressing room. In the Big Bash game on Sunday night Cosgrove was asked who the funniest guy in the dressing room is and he said Khawaja was, so a great person to have in the dressing room as well.

  • POSTED BY hycIass on | January 1, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    @Moppa well pointed out mate, Khawaja is a product of the NSW cricketing system not like Tahir. @Samroy have a look at Khawaja's innings this year, he uses his feet very well to the spinners similar to how Clarke does but his ability to play swing bowling is his stregnth If Khawaja succeeds at the top level then Lehman must get a big share of credit for it. Khawaja is similar to Hussey in how he occupies the crease and how he gets runs in tough conditions. Most of our current batting line up now is very attacking in style; Warner, Watson and Hughes but we don't have the Steve Waugh, Hussey type players except for the exception of Khawaja who has got majority of his runs in shield when the going was tough. I completely agree wiht this and this is one further reason why we must have in the batting lineup, my fear is we won't realise this until the end of the ashes.@eagle8 you are right, best technique out of all the youngsters in Australia.

  • POSTED BY Mervo on | January 1, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    A strong young talent who has developed further under Lehmann. Cant wait for the Shield cricket to be back on again and this boring T20- stuff to be done with.

  • POSTED BY handyandy on | January 1, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    With a double series against England coming soon it is probably important to get this guy into the side ASAP. If I were the selectors I would try to get him into tomorrow's final 11.

    Its a dead rubber ... perhaps Clarke should stand aside. That would also allow Hussey to be captain in his final game which could be a nice gesture.

  • POSTED BY The_Ashes on | January 1, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Ricky Ponting replacement Khawaja! :D

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | January 1, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    Lehman has helped Khawaja address the weakness's selectors asked him to work on. His fielding is very sharp now, running between the wickets has intend and his batting is very aggressive. Went to the Thunder T20 game and Khawaja got 65 not out of 30 odd balls when the team was on 4-20. He has to be Hussey's replacement.As lehman has pointed out that Khawaja has scored in testing conditions this year and Inevarity rightly stated that in his team announcement. What's less mentioned is that when the Bulls are in the field, Khawaja has been taking up his new position in covers and slips slips cordon and snaffling just about everything that has come his way, showing the benefit of Lehmann's pre-season focus on fielding. He will be the best batsman against the moving ball in the ashes too.@mamboman i am assumign you haven't seen any of Khawaja's innings this year but have simply decided to comment without thinking.Take some time to watch him mate and you might just surprise yourself

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | January 1, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Usman Khawaja has been given a raw deal by the Selectors.He was first brought into the Team in the Number 3 position as replacement to Ricky Ponting in the SCG Test against England in 2011,then cast away,then shufled around in various positions like a Resrve Player down to Number 6 - what do you expect - that he will perform as well as he can when THE RIGHT POSITION for him is 1,2 or 3,where he has scored the MAXIMUM Runs?Now that Mike Hussey has chosen to retire after the SCG Test against Sri Lanka,if the Seleectors are FIRM about Cowan and Earner being the Opening Pair,Hughes at Number 3 (still to impress CONSISTENTLY),Khawaja should be at 4,Clarke at 5, Watson at 6 as the All Rounder for his batting and bowling and Wade at 7.

  • POSTED BY mamboman on | January 1, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    He's never been good enough, isn't good enough now and never will be. he is on the discard pile for a reason and should stay there. Political correctness should be no reason to hand out green caps.

  • POSTED BY wix99 on | January 1, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    If he is given a chance I'm sure Khawaja can have a good Test career and score at least 5,000 Test runs. He needs to be given the chance though.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | January 1, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    @doosra_inventer, plenty of differences between Khawaja and Tahir. Khawaja's family moved to Australia when he was 3, and he grew up and learned his cricket here. By contrast, Tahir moved to South Africa as an established first-class cricketer, in his late 20s or early 30s (from memory).

  • POSTED BY doosra_inventer on | January 1, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Goodluck Khawaja Sahib....Another Pakistani playing from ICC full member Country like Imran Tahir for SA.

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | January 1, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I don't see Khawaja being successful in India as ability against spin is suspect (even though Indian spinners aren't all that good). Since, he is not playing in Sydney (he should have in place of Maxwell) he should play only in England where if he manages Swann he will be successful.

  • POSTED BY on | January 1, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    It"s a pity Khawaja does not bowl like M Hussey does be a feather in his cap

  • POSTED BY Skott on | January 1, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    If Khawaja doesn't get first shot at Hussey's spot then something is seriously wrong with the selection process. He's been the next best batsman for the last 2 tests-- how could he not be picked?

  • POSTED BY Skott on | January 1, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    If Khawaja doesn't get first shot at Hussey's spot then something is seriously wrong with the selection process. He's been the next best batsman for the last 2 tests-- how could he not be picked?

  • POSTED BY on | January 1, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    It"s a pity Khawaja does not bowl like M Hussey does be a feather in his cap

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | January 1, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I don't see Khawaja being successful in India as ability against spin is suspect (even though Indian spinners aren't all that good). Since, he is not playing in Sydney (he should have in place of Maxwell) he should play only in England where if he manages Swann he will be successful.

  • POSTED BY doosra_inventer on | January 1, 2013, 8:30 GMT

    Goodluck Khawaja Sahib....Another Pakistani playing from ICC full member Country like Imran Tahir for SA.

  • POSTED BY Moppa on | January 1, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    @doosra_inventer, plenty of differences between Khawaja and Tahir. Khawaja's family moved to Australia when he was 3, and he grew up and learned his cricket here. By contrast, Tahir moved to South Africa as an established first-class cricketer, in his late 20s or early 30s (from memory).

  • POSTED BY wix99 on | January 1, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    If he is given a chance I'm sure Khawaja can have a good Test career and score at least 5,000 Test runs. He needs to be given the chance though.

  • POSTED BY mamboman on | January 1, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    He's never been good enough, isn't good enough now and never will be. he is on the discard pile for a reason and should stay there. Political correctness should be no reason to hand out green caps.

  • POSTED BY popcorn on | January 1, 2013, 9:53 GMT

    Usman Khawaja has been given a raw deal by the Selectors.He was first brought into the Team in the Number 3 position as replacement to Ricky Ponting in the SCG Test against England in 2011,then cast away,then shufled around in various positions like a Resrve Player down to Number 6 - what do you expect - that he will perform as well as he can when THE RIGHT POSITION for him is 1,2 or 3,where he has scored the MAXIMUM Runs?Now that Mike Hussey has chosen to retire after the SCG Test against Sri Lanka,if the Seleectors are FIRM about Cowan and Earner being the Opening Pair,Hughes at Number 3 (still to impress CONSISTENTLY),Khawaja should be at 4,Clarke at 5, Watson at 6 as the All Rounder for his batting and bowling and Wade at 7.

  • POSTED BY Mary_786 on | January 1, 2013, 11:01 GMT

    Lehman has helped Khawaja address the weakness's selectors asked him to work on. His fielding is very sharp now, running between the wickets has intend and his batting is very aggressive. Went to the Thunder T20 game and Khawaja got 65 not out of 30 odd balls when the team was on 4-20. He has to be Hussey's replacement.As lehman has pointed out that Khawaja has scored in testing conditions this year and Inevarity rightly stated that in his team announcement. What's less mentioned is that when the Bulls are in the field, Khawaja has been taking up his new position in covers and slips slips cordon and snaffling just about everything that has come his way, showing the benefit of Lehmann's pre-season focus on fielding. He will be the best batsman against the moving ball in the ashes too.@mamboman i am assumign you haven't seen any of Khawaja's innings this year but have simply decided to comment without thinking.Take some time to watch him mate and you might just surprise yourself

  • POSTED BY The_Ashes on | January 1, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    Ricky Ponting replacement Khawaja! :D