Boxing Day Test: Usman Khawaja - Did he deserve a place over in-form Shaun Marsh?

It's a golden opportunity for Pakistan-born Khawaja, who would be keen to cement his No.3 spot after he was sidelined for the last two Tests with hamstring trouble.

By Suyash Srivastava | Updated: Dec 26, 2015, 00:44 AM IST
Boxing Day Test: Usman Khawaja - Did he deserve a place over in-form Shaun Marsh?

New Delhi: In a surprise move, Australian selectors have picked Usman Khawaja for in-form Shaun Marsh for the crucial Boxing Day Test against West Indies beginning from Saturday.

Much to the shock of the cricketing fraternity, selectors dropped Marsh, who hit his highest Test score of 182 in Australia's comprehensive innings and 212 run defeat against Windies in the first Hobart Test.

It's a golden opportunity for Pakistan-born Khawaja, who would be keen to cement his No.3 spot after he was sidelined for the last two Tests with hamstring trouble.

The left-hander scored 174 and 121 in the first two Tests against New Zealand last month and further sent a timely reminder to the selectors with an explosive 109 off 70 balls in the Big Bash League Twenty20 series last weekend.

It would be unfair to say that Marsh, who has made several comebacks into the Australian side in the past, deserved a place ahead of Khawaja. But the latter, who is just 11 Tests old, should grab this opportunity with both hands, as Australia are undergoing a transition phase post the retirements of key cricketers earlier this year.