The ups and downs of Khawaja's Test career

Usman Khawaja batting on his Test debut Getty Images

Usman Khawaja has been the batsman to make way for Steven Smith's return in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, bringing another halt to a Test career that has not hit the heights that many had expected. Here's a look back at the story so far

January 2011: Test debut

Khawaja's debut, in the final Test of the 2010-11 Ashes, came with considerable expectation and given his heritage was considered a significant moment for Australian cricket. With the team's batting in a slump - they had been skittled for 98 in the preceding Boxing Day Test - Khawaja's first innings 37, on a rain-interrupted day, was lauded for its composure in what became another heavy defeat.

November 2011: Guts in Johannesburg

Dropped two Tests after his debut, Khawaja returned to score his maiden Test fifty in demanding circumstances against South Africa at the Wanderers. His 65 in the second innings spanned nearly three hours and helped lay a platform from where Australia chased down 310 to level the series the match after they had been bowled out for 47 in Cape Town. However, the stop-start nature of Khawaja's early days in Test cricket saw him out of the team again midway through 2011-12 home season.

March 2013: Homeworkgate

He was part of the squad for 2012-13 tour of India but was caught up in the homework controversy that led to him being one of the four players suspended for the Mohali Test. He had not been in the side in the early part of the series and there had been murmurings about his attitude. "This will be the catalyst I think for Usman Khawaja to realise we're pretty serious in the Australian cricket team," coach Mickey Arthur said.

December 2014: Knee reconstruction

Arthur was sacked as coach days before the 2013 Ashes began and Khawaja was recalled for the second Test of that series but the comeback lasted just three games. He did not feature in the return Ashes in Australia and during the following summer suffered a bad knee injury preparing for the BBL which required reconstructive surgery, ruling him out for six months and any chance of playing the 2015 Ashes in England.

November 2015: Prolific comeback

He was recalled for the 2015-16 series against New Zealand and it looked as though he had cracked Test cricket. A maiden century, 174, at the Gabba was followed by 121 in Perth and, though a hamstring injury kept him out for two Tests, further hundreds came against West Indies in Melbourne and New Zealand in Wellington.

August 2016: 'Scapegoat' in Sri Lanka

When Australia went 2-0 down on their 2016 tour of Sri Lanka, Khawaja was one of the batsmen to pay the price (along with Joe Burns) when he was dropped for the final Test of the series. It was a decision that did not go down well. ''It was disappointing that Joe Burns and I were sort of the scapegoats for not performing," he said a few months later. ''I just thought that I'd only played two Test matches in the subcontinent and I got dropped. I wasn't the only person who wasn't scoring runs."

November 2016: Opening success

Khawaja was promptly back in the side for the home season which began with a series against South Africa and he enjoyed a productive return. Australia, however, were 2-0 down following a crushing defeat in Hobart which led to sweeping changes for the final match in Adelaide. Khawaja survived and when Faf du Plessis pulled off a surprise declaration under the floodlights, and with David Warner off the field, he was promoted to open and responded with a superb 145 which helped set up a consolation victory.

February 2017: Left out in India

The subcontinent issue reared its head again with Khawaja left out for all four Tests on the 2017 tour of India as Australia tried to find a way of countering the home side's threat. There was a famous 333-run win in Pune, but India fought back to take a bad-tempered series 2-1. Khawaja returned for the first Test in Bangladesh but twin failures in Australia's defeat saw him left out again. "It creates a lot of instability in the team I reckon, going in and out for everyone," he later said. "It is very hard to develop your game and play some consistent cricket if you're not getting consistent opportunities overseas, which I haven't been getting."

November 2017: Ashes return

Once again, home comforts brought Khawaja back into the side for the 2017-18 Ashes. It was a middling series until the final match in Sydney when he struck 171 - his first century against England.

October 2018: UAE epic

In the aftermath of the ball-tampering controversy, Khawaja was now a senior figure in the team. He responded with his finest performance in the opening Test against Pakistan in Dubai with a brilliant match-saving 141 (to follow a first-innings 85) as he opened the batting. His century spanned more than eight and a half hours. A knee injury curtailed his participation in the second Test.

December 2018: Home struggles

Against a high-class India attack batting was tough and Khawaja had to grind out his runs. A 72 in the second innings at Perth, on a lively pitch at the new ground, was a key part in Australia's victory but he couldn't build on that in the final two matches. There was talk about his place in the side against Sri Lanka before he rounded off the series with an unbeaten 101 in the second innings in Canberra. It meant his Ashes place was secure for the start of the series, but that wouldn't last.