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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 05 March 2024

Australia's Usman Khawaja expects players to be picked on class, not form

Warner is set to play his last Test at home in Sydney against Pakistan in the final game of the three-match series starting January 3

PTI Melbourne Published 07.12.23, 08:09 AM
Usman Khawaja during this year’s Ashes.

Usman Khawaja during this year’s Ashes. Getty Images

Australia Test batter Usman Khawaja has ur­ged the national selectors to look for class over form when they choose his next opening partner after David Warner quits the longest format.

Warner is set to play his last Test at home in Sydney against Pakistan in the final game of the three-match series starting January 3.

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Khawaja isn’t too concerned about his next partner but urged the selectors to pick the right player who can flourish at the international level.

“To be honest, it (who my next opening partner is) doesn’t really matter to me. Whoever the selectors are going to pick, they’re going to pick because they think they’re the best for the role,” Khawaja said on SEN Radio.

“I don’t even believe in the ‘bat-off’ people are talking about right now. I think it is going to come to a lot more than that. You can’t pick teams on form. You’ve got to pick teams on who you think the best player is.

“If we pick teams on form, the Australian team would be changing every second week. Class is always permanent. Form is always temporary. It will be interesting to see which way they go,” he added.

Warner’s recent Test form has been mixed and he has averaged 28 in the longest format since the summer of 2019, when he made a triple century against Pakistan in Adelaide.

The other opener candidates who have a chance to stake a claim are Cameron Bancroft, Matt Renshaw and Marcus Harris.

Khawaja said his next opening partner shouldn’t be picked on the basis of first-class runs runs scored.

“I think it (making runs) does (play into it),” he said. “But I think if you go a bit further back for the last five years, all of the guys that are in contention would have scored a truckload of runs.

“It just depends on how big a sample size you want to make it.”

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