Australia v New Zealand Tests
Smith confirms batting order reshuffle
Australia skipper moves up the order to make room for Khawaja's replacement
Adam Burnett at the WACA
17 November 2015, 11:03 PM AEST
Steve Smith will shift up to the No.3 position in Australia's batting order for the Adelaide Test to cover for the injured Usman Khawaja.
Khawaja scored back-to-back centuries in the first two matches of the series but will miss next week's third Test against the Black Caps with a hamstring injury.
Scorecard: Australia v New Zealand
It leaves a vacancy in Australia's batting order but Smith says the incoming batsman will come in down the order, likely at No.5 with Adam Voges at No.4, the position from which he scored 117 at the WACA.
"It depends who comes in but I'll probably bump myself up to three with Usman coming out," Smith said after the drawn second Test.
"I'll keep that spot warm for him until he comes back."
WATCH: Smith beaks through for maiden second innings century
Smith is no stranger to batting at No.3, and filled the role to great effect in Khawaja's absence in Perth, making 138 in the second innings.
Four of his 12 Test centuries have come at first drop, where he averages 77.41 from 14 innings.
Before the series, coach Darren Lehmann said Smith could "bat wherever he wants" while Khawaja said he and his skipper had discussed the batting order before the series opener in Brisbane.
"I've batted three or opened my whole life, so it sits perfectly with me," Khawaja said. "It was up to Steve.
"He asked me (and) I said it wasn't about me, it was about where he wanted to bat.
"At the end of the day it's about where the other guys feel comfortable who are already in the team, and for us (it's about) coming in, scoring some runs and doing our bit for the team."
The likelihood that the incoming batsman will bat in the middle-order suggests young West Australian opener Cameron Bancroft – who made four and six in his most recent Sheffield Shield outing against Victoria – will not be selected, paving the way for fellow Warriors Shaun Marsh or Michael Klinger.
Quick Single: Australia selectors face key changes
The squad for the third Test will be announced on Wednesday morning, with Peter Siddle the likely front-runner as Mitchell Johnson's replacement.
A double change in the fast-bowling stocks remains a possibility, after Josh Hazlewood added the biggest workload of his burgeoning Test career to bowling loads that Smith said pre-Test were already reaching a critical level.
"Obviously (Hazlewood) had a pretty big load throughout this Test match," Smith added. "I don't think he's bowled that many overs in a match before.
"We'll wait and see how he pulls up over the next couple of days and what the medical staff think about it going forward."
WATCH: Starc clocks 160.4kph in WACA spell
In Johnson's absence, Smith said it was now up to Mitchell Starc to take up the role of the team's spearhead.
Starc has played 24 Tests and collected 88 wickets at 31.35, and was Australia's best with the ball in Perth, taking 4-119 in the first innings.
"Hopefully he can take that extra responsibility," Smith added. "I thought the way he bowled this Test match was outstanding.
"His workloads were through the roof as well, I don't think he's bowled that many overs in a match before and the way he kept up his pace throughout the whole match, over 145kph the whole match, was a pretty incredible achievement on a wicket like that.
"So I was really impressed with him this match, and hopefully we can see more of that in the future."