Australia v India Tests - Men
Khawaja open to batting reshuffle
It doesn't matter where the Queensland captain bats, he's focusing on Shield cricket first and then India
22 November 2018, 04:17 PM AEST
Usman Khawaja says he will bat "wherever" in Australia's Test team as he prepares for his first match back from minor knee surgery.
Khawaja is one of six specialist batsmen in Australia's 14-man squad for the first two Domain Tests against India, starting on December 6 in Adelaide.
The squad features uncapped Victoria opener Marcus Harris, along with state teammate Aaron Finch, who opened the batting in the UAE alongside Khawaja.
Khawaja is an automatic selection in the Test XI, but where he bats will be up to captain Tim Paine.
Harris is out-and-out opener for the Vics, while Finch has been used in the middle order at state level and is expected to bat lower down the order against Khawaja's Bulls in the JLT Sheffield Shield next week.
Paine said earlier this month Finch deserves to stay at the top of the order after his solid efforts in his maiden Test series, where he compiled four scores between 31 and 62 on turning low, slow wickets against Pakistan.
Khawaja expects Harris to open, meaning he'll likely either retain his place as opener or drop down to No.3, a position he's batted at 30 times in Test career.
"I'm happy to bat wherever," Khawaja said today.
"I've said that to Painey. He (Harris) is obviously an opener. I expect him to open."
The Shield hit-out against Victoria will be Khawaja's first match since undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus suffered in innocuous fashion while warming-up during the second Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
But the left-hander says he's good to go and has been eying this match for his comeback ahead of the opening Test against India.
"I'm fine right now," he said. "It's just about playing some cricket now. It's feeling alright at training.
"I've done as much as I can at training so hopefully, fingers crossed, it keeps going well.
"I've had a pretty high workload the last two weeks; batted, ran, fielded. Everything is going well thus far.
"I've had a few opportunities to possibly play other games that are going on this week but I really wanted to play Shield cricket. I want to play for my state."
While Khawaja, Harris and Finch won Test selection, Bulls pair Matt Renshaw and Marnus Labuschagne – incumbents in the UAE squad – missed out.
Khawaja said he hasn't spoken to the duo but understands what they're going through and expects them to bounce back.
"I'm sure (Renshaw) is (disappointed)," Khawaja said. "He's a quality player.
"I'm sure he's going to go out and score lots of runs in Shield cricket this season. I expect him to have a very bright future.
"I've been in their shoes before. Being dropped is never fun. But it's all a learning experience, it's all about growth. They'll grow from the experience."
India Tour of Australia 2018-19
Gillette T20s v India
First T20: Australia won by four runs (DLS method)
Second T20: November 23, MCG
Third T20: November 25, SCG
Domain Tests v India
First Test: December 6-10, Adelaide Oval
Second Test: December 14-18, Perth Stadium
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 3-7, SCG
Gillette ODI Series v India
First ODI: January 12, SCG (D/N)
Second ODI: January 15, Adelaide Oval (D/N)
Third ODI: January 18, MCG (D/N)