Khawaja set to be available for 1st Ashes Test
Birmingham, July 30 (IANS) Australia batsman Usman Khawaja will be available for selection for the first Ashes Test against England beginning Thursday.
On Monday, Khawaja went through a series of rigorous fitness test which included a series of 10 twos on the Edgbaston outfield before spending 45 minutes in the nets, taking slips catches from fielding coach Brad Haddin and then returning to the nets for another hit, reports cricket.com.au.
Now, the only thing that can prevent Khawaja’s selection for the first Ashes Test is whether the selectors deem the left-hander has had enough match practice since the injury to slot into the starting XI.
There were doubts over Khawaja’s availability for the Birmingham Test after the 32-year-old had picked up a hamstring injury during Australia’s clash against South Africa in the recently concluded World Cup and was subsequently ruled out of the tournament.
Khawaja has been batting at the No.3 spot since the last Ashes series in England four years ago, posting eight centuries and an average of 47.76 in that period.
While Khawaja looks all close to be fully fit, there was another injury scare for Australia after David Warner was hit at the nets by paceman Michael Neser. Warner is set to have a nasty bruise above his left knee after copping an inside edge off the bowling of Neser.
The Australian opener limped out of the nets area on his way back to the away team dressing room where he iced the damaged area. However, it is believed in the Australian camp that he will be fine for Thursday’s opening day.