Queensland captain Usman Khawaja could find himself anywhere in Australia’s top six if selected for the first Test of the summer, according to coach Darren Lehmann.
Khawaja was dropped for Australia’s last Test in Sri Lanka after scoring 55 runs in four innings and was replaced by Western Australia’s Shaun Marsh for the final match in Colombo.
Marsh capitalised on his Test recall by posting 130 opening the innings, but the left-hander is in serious doubt for the first Test after sustaining a hamstring injury batting for WA in the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup last Saturday.
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Marsh’s injury opens the door for Khawaja to return to the Test XI, but Lehmann says it might not be in his preferred first-drop position.
"I think you can look at him (Khawaja) as a one, two or three," Lehmann told reporters at Hurstville Oval on Wednesday.
"It depends on the make-up of the side.
"At the end of the day the captain will decide where the batting order lies and we’ll just give him the side we think is the best prepared and the best team to win that particular game.
"Usman is one of those guys can bat one, two, three or four, five or six… so that’s an advantage with him so really depends on how the other players shape up with the Shield round."
Khawaja has batted predominantly at No.3 in his 17 Tests, slotting in at first-drop 25 out 29 innings in the Baggy Green.
The classy left-hander dominated in that position last summer, posting four centuries and averaging 101.86 in six Tests spanning Australia and New Zealand.
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While he says he is unfazed if he has to open the batting, Khawaja says he hasn’t spoken to the national selectors but is preparing as if he’ll be playing against South Africa at the WACA Ground on November 3.
"I haven’t really chatted to them (selectors) at all about it (selection)," Khawaja said on Tuesday.
"I’m just trying to play stuff for Queensland. We’ve got (Matador Cup) finals coming up first. That’s a pretty big thing going on there.
"Not looking too far ahead yet but I am planning everything as it’s going as if I’m playing that first Test.
"And if I don’t I’ll reassess then."