Waugh: A fit Khawaja will play at MCG

Australia

Australia selector Mark Waugh says he cannot imagine Usman Khawaja being left out of the side for the second Test against the West Indies if he is fit, given his form with the bat prior to his injury.

Khawaja was in blazing form when he picked up a hamstring injury in the series against New Zealand recently, and while Shaun Marsh did superbly with a near double ton as a replacement, he could see himself dropped.

Australia are firm favourites with Paddy Power to win the second Test, and they will feel confident even in dropping a player like Marsh.

Waugh conceded that it was a tough call to make, but if Khawaja proved his fitness in the Big Bash League before Boxing Day, he would be recalled. This would leave either Marsh or opener Joe Burns on the sidelines.

Waugh told Inside Cricket: "If Usman is fit, assuming he is, he’s got to come back in.

"That’s not nailed down, but he has two hundreds in his last two Test matches, so you'd imagine he comes back in.

"So it’s probably a shootout between Joe Burns and Shaun Marsh.

"Someone will be very unlucky, but it’s a good position to be in, we've got lots of good players there now scoring runs.

"It’s going to be tough on one of those guys."

Skipper Steve Smith said that Marsh was best suited to the number five role: "He’s done really well there and Khawaja, I think, can slot anywhere in the top three.

"Obviously it’s a big decision to make and I'll back whatever they (the selectors) decide."

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