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Khawaja Should Be Available For Ashes Selection: Paine

Cricketnext Staff |July 26, 2019, 10:57 AM IST
Khawaja Should Be Available For Ashes Selection: Paine

Australia skipper Tim Paine believes that Usman Khawaja should be fully fit in time for the first Ashes Test which begins on August 1st.

Speaking during the conclusion of Australia’s intra-squad clash in Southampton in which Khawaja was conspicuous by his absence, Paine said the southpaw is now 100% fit.

An early finish to the intra-squad four-day Test meant that Khawaja was involved in a centre-wicket session along with Paine at the other end, who observed him from close quarters.

“He's 100 per cent. He was running a little bit between the wickets, not at full intensity," Paine was quoted as saying by

"But Usman has been playing a lot of cricket, he has been over here for months.

"It wasn't ideal he didn't play in this game but I think he's going to be fit and available for selection next week.”

Among the list of injury concerns is Mitchell Starc, who avoided bowling on Wednesday due to a sore knee but was back in action briefly for a spell on Thursday.

And with only two out of Starc, Pattinson and Hazlewood likely to be involved in the first Test, Paine spoke about the intent with which Pattinson bowled, hungry to make his first international appearance since 2016.

"Pattinson was outstanding again, he has been for the whole Australia A tour," Paine said.

"But he took it up a gear in this game, particularly in that second innings. He's starting to get really excited about what might be ahead of him in the next week or so."

Spearhead Pat Cummins also impressed during the intra-squad match, while Paine also praised Hazlewood, who hasn't played for Australia since January because of a back injury, and Starc.

"Both bowled really well today," the wicketkeeper said.

"Every time Josh has bowled in a match he has got better and better. He is going to be a key bowler for us at stages during this Ashes.

"Starcy is coming off a lot of white-ball cricket, he takes a little bit of time to adjust.

"But he'll be working hard next week. When he's on song he will be playing a huge role in these Ashes."​

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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