According to Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann, one of Usman Khawaja or Shaun Marsh could be in contention to open the innings alongside David Warner for the Boxing Day test against the West Indies. This means that despite doing moderately well, Joe Burns might have to miss out from the playing XI. Considering the recent form of Marsh and Khawaja, ignoring both would be a difficult move indeed.
“I would be comfortable with Khawaja opening the batting, but the captain, Steve Smith might not want that, so we have to work that out,” said Lehmann. “Shaun’s probably more comfortable batting at No. 5 but if we need him to play and we need an opener then he can do that job as well.”It gets down to the make-up of the side, what we go with. If he’s in that and he has to open then you’d rather that than not playing,” said Lehmann.
“That’s what we have to work out in two weeks. We have to wait to see if Usman is fit first, then we have the dilemma,” said Lehmann. “If he’s fit, then he’s made two hundreds in his previous two Test matches so you’d think he’d been in form to play,” the Australian coach added.
“We certainly need him playing and with the hamstring we don’t want him playing Test match cricket if he’s not fully fit. He will have to be sharp in those Big Bash League T20 games he’s playing and get through those then we’ll make a decision from there. But if he comes back in then someone’s going to miss out and we just have to work out who that is.”