Khawaja eyeing place in Boxing Day Test


Usman Khawaja is keen to earn a place in the Australia side for the Boxing Day Test with West Indies after shaking off a hamstring injury.

The left-handed batsman limped out of the second Test with New Zealand on day two at the WACA in Perth last month. Khawaja had hit 174 and 121 in the first two matches before sustaining the knock.

Khawaja conceded the injury was particularly frustrating given he had only just cemented his place in the Australia batting line-up after regaining a spot in the side following his recovery from knee surgery.

But the anniversary of Phillip Hughes' tragic death last Friday has given a sense of perspective to Khawaja - who will attempt to prove his worth to the selectors by playing for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League.

"It's not a fun road. It's a bit of a pain in the backside," Khawaja said of his injury. "I was just disappointed. I was having a lot of fun playing Test cricket.

"[But] it is nowhere near as bad as my knee and obviously everything that happened last week, it being one year since Hughesy's anniversary too, it also puts it in perspective.

"It could be a lot worse so I'm grateful for where I am.

"I've been through a couple of bad things the last year or so. Hopefully it's all smooth sailing from here on.

"I haven't played a Boxing Day Test yet. So, I'd love to play. But it's three or four weeks away and a lot can happen between now and then.

"If they [selectors] want to pick me, they will pick me - I just have to put my hand up and make sure I am fit."

Australia's Test series with the Windies starts on December 10 at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart before the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.