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Matthew Hayden wants Usman Khawaja at No.3 in India Tests

The Queensland batsman slammed 141 and 85 in the first Test against Pakistan before sustaining a knee injury.

Matthew Hayden
Matthew Hayden. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Australia have struggled to put their house in order ever since the exit of two key players – Steve Smith and David Warner – because of a ban. With less than a week ahead of the first Test against India in Adelaide, opinions still emerge over the Kangaroos’ playing XI which suggests that the hosts are not yet ready with their order.

Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting picked Victoria players Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris, who is a debutant, as the openers in the first Test with Usman Khawaja coming in at No.3. His former team-mate and former Australian opener Matthew Hayden now has echoed the thoughts by suggesting Khawaja at one-down even though the Pakistan-born batsman did well against Pakistan in the two-Test series in the UAE last month.

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Khawaja slammed 141 vs Pakistan in UAE recently

The Queensland batsman slammed 141 and 85 in the first Test against Pakistan before sustaining a knee injury which saw him batting only once in the second game. Hayden, also a former player from Queensland, hoped to see “best player” Khawaja back at No.3 instead of continuing as a stop-gap opener as regular openers Warner and Cameron Bancroft were serving bans since the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa earlier this year.

“I like Usman at three. Traditionally I think your best player bats at three and I think Usman Khawaja is that player. And I think he needs to feel settled as well. I think he’s had a career that s been chopped and changed and for mine I’d have him in every side, I just think he’s that good. Why he’s not playing in our one-day side and even T20 side I’m not sure,” Hayden, who holds the record of the second highest individual score in Tests, told Sydney Morning Herald.

Khawaja, 31, made his international debut in 2011 and has scored 2,455 runs in 35 Tests at an average of 43.83. He has played 18 ODIs and nine T20Is, totalling just over 700 runs.

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