Michael Clarke backs 'talented' Usman Khawaja to make Test return
The national selectors had dropped Khawaja for the third Test against Sri Lanka.
Melbourne: Describing Usman Khawaja as an `extremely talented` player, former Australian skipper Michael Clarke has backed the left-hander to reclaim his position in the Test squad for the upcoming three-match series against South Africa beginning at WACA ground on November 3.
The national selectors had dropped Khawaja for the third Test against Sri Lanka after the 29-year-old managed scores of 26 and 18, 11 and 0 respectively in the first two matches of the 3-0 series whitewash.
However, coach Darren Lehmann had said that Khawaja and his fellow Queenslander Joe Burns would be considered for the first Test of the Australian summer on the back of their imperious record on home soil.
With Khawaja notching up four Test centuries last summer- three of which came in Australia, Clarke believes the form would see the dropped batsman to return to his favoured No.3 position for the start of the Australian summer."I think they`ll pick Uzzie (Khawaja).
I thought he had a magnificent summer in Australia.
He`s extremely talented and a top fella as well, so he is a big part of their team.
I think they probably didn`t pick him in Sri Lanka based on conditions, but knowing Uzzie I think he would have learnt a lot in Sri Lanka," Clarke was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
The former skipper, who was speaking after making his return to NSW grade cricket, believes that Khawaja would have surely assessed his strengths and would have worked over his weaknesses over the period of time.
"He would have looked at his game, assessed strengths and weaknesses and he`ll be working hard to make sure next time he gets an opportunity to play in the subcontinent he`s ready.
I think he`s extremely talented I think he showed the whole world that last summer and I think the selectors will start with him," Clarke added.
Khawaja is currently with Australia`s ODI squad in South Africa on a month-long limited-overs tour, which includes three T20 and five-match ODI series.