Australia v New Zealand Tests
Coach unperturbed by Smith's shift
Selection of Usman Khawaja made it easier for Steve Smith to move down the order
AAP & Cricket Network
2 November 2015, 02:59 PM AEST
According to Bupa Support Team Head Coach Darren Lehmann, captain Steve Smith can bat wherever he wants.
And he says the stage was set for Usman Khawaja to revive his international career at No.3 after Smith's decision to demote himself for the first Test against New Zealand in Brisbane.
The spotlight is on recalled duo Khawaja and Joe Burns ahead of the Gabba series opener starting on Thursday.
Quick Single: Pressure on new faces to perform
Two years since the last of his nine Tests, Khawaja will slot into the No.3 position recently filled with great success by Smith.
Lehmann said there was no pressure on Smith to demote himself in the order to provide "more balance" in the inexperienced batting line-up.
"He can bat wherever he wants," Lehmann said of Smith on Sky Sports Radio on Monday.
"I said 'if you want to bat three you can bat three, if you want four you can bat four' - we discussed it, talked about the pros and cons.
Khawaja, Burns speak after Test call-up
"He had great success at three at the Ashes mixed in with some indifferent performances I suppose and he has great success at four so it doesn't matter so much - it's more the (team) selection."
Smith told News Corp he would move down to No.4 for "team balance", with Lehmann adding the move was made with Khawaja in mind.
Quick Single: Smith confirms move to No.4
"Khawaja has been successful at three, so we have given him the opportunity to bat where he does for his state (Queensland), give him first crack," Lehmann said.
In eight Sheffield Shield matches at the Gabba, Khawaja has scored 839 runs at 69.92, including three tons. But only two of his 15 Shield innings in Brisbane have not been at No.3.
After nine Tests, Khawaja has 377 runs at 25.13 with just two 50s.
Lehmann said the stage was set for Khawaja to stake a long term Test claim at his home ground.
"We know he is a great technician and he has time which is important at this level," Lehmann said of Khawaja.
"He knows conditions well here at the Gabba - the time is right for him to perform."