Darren Lehmann backs Usman Khawaja and Matthew Wade for the Ashes

Darren Lehmann backs Usman Khawaja and Matthew Wade for the Ashes

While Glenn Maxwell didn't do well enough on the Bangladesh tour, he seems all set to retain the No.6 spot.

Darren Lehmann
Australian coach Darren Lehman speaks to the media. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Despite repeated failures on the tour of Bangladesh, Australian coach Darren Lehmann has spoken in support of No.3 batter Usman Khawaja. Lehmann went on to the extent of backing him to be in the starting XI of the Aussie side when England take a tour down under for the toughest series of the summer, the Ashes in November.

Khawaja hasn’t been at his splendid best when it comes to delivering in the subcontinent. He was even dropped for the XI that played the second Test at Chittagong. The left-hander has managed to score only 117 runs in five Tests in Asia, averaging just 14.62. However, at home, he enjoys an outstanding record and thus would be a valuable asset during the Ashes.

Lehmann on Khawaja

“I would think Usman would play the first Test match,” Lehmann was quoted as saying by Cricket Australia. “For the make-up of the side we changed it here, but we think he’s a pretty special player and obviously he’s got a really good record in Australia,” he added.

Backs Wade

Matthew Wade faced extreme criticism after the recently concluded tour of Bangladesh. Right from his wicketkeeping skills where he conceded 22 byes in a single innings to his poor string of scores 5, 4 and 8. The situation was so bad, that Australia even contemplated dropping him for part time wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb to fit in another batsman.

“We look at all scenarios. We look at the best XI that’s going to perform for the game. So for us, it was the right call. Matthew was great this game. End of the day, we love having the best keeper all the time,” said Lehmann.

Three rounds of the Sheffield Shield will be played before the first Ashes Test begins in Brisbane. Thus, it would be crucial in determining the Australian squad. While Glenn Maxwell didn’t do well enough on the Bangladesh tour, he seems all set to retain the No.6 spot unless they prefer to go for a fast bowling all-rounder.

“We’ll certainly be looking at that position,” Lehmann made it sure they had their eyes on the No.6 spot. “Anyone can jump out of the pack in the three Shield games and (come into) what we think the best make-up is for that first Test. Glenn is there at the moment but like everyone else, he’ll have to perform,” he further clarified.