Khawaja a step closer to Test return


Australia batsman Usman Khawaja is one step closer to a return to the Aussie Test side after he was declared fit to take part in a Big Bash League (BBL) match for the Sydney Thunder on Sunday.

Khawaja has been sidelined since early November when he injured his hamstring in the second Test against New Zealand, and saw him miss the final Test against Kiwis and the first Test against the West Indies.

With the second Test against the Windies starting on Boxing Day, Khawaja was in a race against time to prove his fitness after being selected in the Australia squad.

With no first-class games currently being played in Australia, Khawaja will have to make do with some middle-time in the shortest format.

The left-handed Khawaja was earmarked to make his comeback to the field when the Thunder started their BBL campaign against the Sydney Sixers on Thursday, but was advised by the medical staff to rest for another couple of days.

Speaking to before the match on Thursday, Khawaja said: "I've put in a lot of hard work in the last four week so (I'm) a bit stiff and sore in some places but feeling really good.

"I really wanted to play this game but a few people up the top thought it'd be probably a little early (and) pretty good to get a couple more days rest."