Sport

Khawaja facing Test axe for Marsh

Australian cricketers Shaun Marsh (left) and Usman Khawaja.
Australian cricketers Shaun Marsh (left) and Usman Khawaja. JULIAN SMITH

USMAN Khawaja looks set to become the victim of selectors' hotly contentious plan to reinstall Shaun Marsh as Australia's Indian linchpin.

The horses for courses push to bring back Marsh started last month, when coach Darren Lehmann hinted that opener Matt Renshaw wasn't necessarily safe at the top of the order, despite his massive maiden century at the SCG.

However, as it stands it would appear Khawaja is the man on the ropes as the decks are cleared for Marsh, who has a strong track record in subcontinental conditions.

Left out of Australia's tour match on Friday against an Indian A side, Khawaja may now be relying on injury or an epic fail from one of the top order to save his No.3 spot for the first Test in Pune next week.

Khawaja is paying a very dear price for his struggles in Sri Lanka last year, particularly given he turned in another fruitful home summer with the bat, while Marsh nursed his latest injury and missed five straight Tests.

Khawaja averages 47.9 in Test cricket, with five centuries, compared to Marsh's average of 40, with four centuries.

Khawaja is the only Australian cricketer to have scored more than 1000 first-class runs this summer, including three centuries and an average of 63.

From the six Test matches he played against South Africa and Pakistan, Khawaja sat third behind only Steve Smith and David Warner with an average of 58.

In Adelaide, Khawaja posted arguably the most important ton of the summer, when he dug deep to produce a masterful knock that single-handedly broke Australia's five-match losing streak.

Now the 30-year-old would appear to be on the brink of being benched for 33-year-old Marsh.

Australia's 3-0 whitewash loss against Sri Lanka last year was an unmitigated disaster at the time, but it's clear now it's proving the blueprint for what Australia believes will work in India.

Marsh came into the side for the third Test in Sri Lanka and crafted a brilliant century, whereas Khawaja found himself dropped by that point following a series of low scores.

Renshaw, at 20 years of age, will open with David Warner on Friday, virtually putting an end to speculation the young gun would lose his place.

However, the potential omission of Khawaja is arguably just as controversial, given the elegant left-hander has been Australia's third best performing batsman over the past couple of years behind Steve Smith and Warner.

There are ongoing fears about Khawaja's wristy approach to playing spinners on turning decks, although the star run-scorer had flagged changes to his technique this time around.

With Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe all virtually assured first Test selection, the only position up for grabs now may be the No.6 all-rounder battle between Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell.

It's understood Marsh is favoured, but Maxwell could come into contention if the wicket in Pune looks like a raging turner that would suit slow bowling.

News Corp Australia

Topics:  australian cricket team shaun marsh test cricket tour of india usman khawaja



Psychologist charged with assaulting young boy

A psychologist has been charged with four counts of indecent assault of a person under 16 years, according to NSW Police media.

A Coffs Harbour psychologist allegedly indecently assaulted patient

Family praised for its support after drowning

The Redden Family receives a Police Award for Community Service for assisting the family of missing swimmer Ali Mosawi. Pictured are Detective Sergeant Matt Zimmer, Kim, Rob & son Bray Redden and Chief Inspector Sharri Allison.

Family praised for supporting family of missing teenager

Local Partners

Cheaper building fees are here to stay

COFFS Harbour City councillors voted to waiver developer contributions and make building secondary dwellings cheaper.


What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

Petula Clark delighted to sing live for Australian fans

STILL TOURING: English singer Petula Clark is coming to Queensland.

English star Petula Clark still puts on a great show, even at 84.

Do you really know your road rules?

Cars travel around the roundabout at Villiers and Fitzroy Street. Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

List of the top 10 most misunderstood road rules in NSW.

Wonder Woman is a kick-arse superhero romp

WITH so much at stake, thank Zeus that Wonder Woman didn’t fall into the same trap as its DC Extended Universe predecessors.

Everything coming to Netflix, Stan, Foxtel and Amazon Prime Video this June

Orange Is The New Black returns for another season.

Find out what's being added to our streaming services in June.

Sam Armytage and Tom Cruise? Saaaaay what?

Apparently, the answer is no.

Musical tribute to flood volunteers released

Songwriter honours flood volunteers who helped their neighbours.

Lismore songwriter Simon Thomas was moved by strangers' kindness

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Jetty views don't come any better than this

Property Camperdown St

The Real Estate Property Guide is online now

Kids will love living in this new Coffs Harbour estate

FAMILY FRIENDLY: This children's playground is the latest family-friendly feature of the Elements@Coffs estate.

Local land estate unveils newest family friendly feature

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!