Australia remembers Usman Khawaja in their 15-man squad for the first two Ashes Trials … with Marcus Harris set to open batting alongside David Warner at the Gabba and in Adelaide.
- Usman Khawaja’s last appearances in Ashes were in 2019 – he earned a maximum score of 40
- The 34-year-old has made a super return to form on the Australian domestic scene.
- Marcus Harris is poised to forge an opening partnership with David Warner
Australia have announced a 15-man squad for the first two Ash events, with Usman Khawaja’s strong domestic form forcing his retirement.
Ashes’ last outing from Khawaja was in 2019, when he achieved just a maximum score of 40 in the first three tests before giving way to Steve Smith’s return from injury at Old Trafford and The Oval.
The 34-year-old has been in form at the Sheffield Shield, with 404 runs in six innings of national competition.
34-year-old Usman Khawaja is back in the Australian national team after great form on the national scene
Khawaja has scored 404 runs in six innings to earn a retirement from Australia
England’s regular nemesis Steve Smith is included in Australia’s 15-man team for Trials.
AUSSIE ASHES SQUARE
Tim Paine (c), Pat Cummins (vc), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
George Bailey, chairman of the National Selection Panel, said Khawaja had been in “great contact.”
He added: ‘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 hit a variety of positions in the batting order.”
Khawaja looks set to fight Travis Head for a spot in the final 11, with the latter adding 163 innings at the start of the domestic season, but losing his pace a bit lately.
Bailey said: ‘Travis finished last summer strong, second only to Cameron Green in runs scored, and he’s started the season well again.
“He propels the game forward and can put pressure on opponents with his ability to score quickly.”
Meanwhile, Marcus Harris has been backed to form a strong partnership with David Warner at the top of the order after success in the English season.
“Marcus has been a consistent run scorer nationally and had a strong winter further developing his game with Leicestershire,” Bailey said.
Marcus Harris has been chosen to open the batting for Australia alongside David Warner
Paceman Jhye Richardson is also back in the Australian squad for the England games.
On the ball, and pacemaker Jhye Richardson is back on the team, Michael Neser is part of the 15 as he recovers from a hamstring injury and leg spinner Mitch Swepson provides backup to spinner Nathan Lyon as spinner. .
The Ashes will kick off in Gabba on December 8th and the Second Test will be a day and night event in Adelaide.
Ahead of the series, England will have two in-team matches in Brisbane, one in Australia and an England Lions team will face an Australian A-team that includes T20 World Cup winners Mitchell Marsh, Josh Inglis. and Ashton Agar.
“This group is well balanced to ensure that we are prepared for the many challenges of an Ashes series,” Bailey said.
‘It has a mix of experienced and proven artists and emerging talent in development.
“We will take this 15-man team to the opening tryout in Brisbane and to the pink ball game in Adelaide, after which we will be able to re-evaluate the remaining games.”