Khawaja faces uncertain batting placement

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Australia batsman Usman Khawaja’s blessing is also his curse, in that his talent allows him to bat anywhere in the top order, says coach Darren Lehmann.

Khawaja was dropped from the Test XI during the Tests against Sri Lanka recently, but is set to return to the side thanks to an injury to his replacement, Shaun Marsh.

But Khawaja may not get to bat in his preferred role as opener, says Lehmann, and the Queensland batsman could find himself as low down as six against South Africa.

Lehmann said on Wednesday: “I think you can look at him as a one, two or three. 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.”

For his part, Khawaja is trying to focus on his domestic form after being told to impress in the Shield and Matador Cup, and will think about Perth if required.

He said: “I haven’t really chatted to them (selectors) at all about it (selection). 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.”

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