Khawaja will make it tough for selectors for number 3 slot

Updated: Jan 04, 2011, 19:09 PM IST

Sydney: Former Australia captain Steve Waugh said the selectors would be in a quandary whether to bring Ricky Ponting at number three when he returns from a finger injury or let Usman Khawaja take that spot in the top order.

Waugh was extremely impressed with Khawaja`s short but impressive 37-run innings on his debut in the fifth Ashes Test.

Khawaja, a southpaw, batted at number three in place of Ponting and impressed Waugh in such a way that the legendary batsman feels he may challenge Ponting for that spot.

"Ricky, look, he`s been a great player at No.3. That`s going to be a tough call for selectors. That`s why they`re the selectors and I`m not. They`re going to make their call, not me, and they`ve got to sit together and work it out.”

"There`s going to be a lot of opinion. Ricky has been a great No.3 and probably will continue to be a great No.3 but Khawaja, the way he played yesterday, he`s had such poise and he`s definitely the future of Australian cricket going forward," Ponting told reporters.

Khawaja became the first Muslim to play Test cricket for Australia when he got the baggy green from Mark Taylor before the start of the final Ashes Test at SCG.

Waugh was speaking at the launch of a new children`s book -- Called Tugga: The Steve Waugh Story -- which encapsulates his journey from a young kid to becoming Australia`s Test cricket.