Usman Khawaja not sure if opening with Steve Smith is best combination for Australia in Test

    The Hawk
    June24/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Usman Khawaja, while appreciating his partnership with Steven Smith, remains uncertain if Smith as an opener is the best fit for the team.

    Usman Khawaja

    Melbourne: Australia opener Usman Khawaja isn't sure whether Steven Smith featuring as an opener in the Test for Baggy Greens is the best combination.
    David Warner brought the curtain down on his Test career after the conclusion of the three-match Test series against Pakistan last year. Smith was named Warner's successor, and he featured alongside Usman Khawaja in the opening slot for their two-match Test series against New Zealand in February. Across the four innings in the two games, Smith scored just 51 runs, which included a three-ball duck in the second innings of the first Test.
    With Australia set to host India for a four-match Test series, which will kick off on November 22, the batting combination of the Baggy Greens will be a talking point during the build-up.
    Khawaja admitted that he enjoys playing alongside Smith but isn't sure if playing alongside the experienced star is the best opening combination for them.
    "I get along with Steve Smith well. I have known him since I was 14. I enjoy batting with him. Is it the best opening combination for Australia not sure. It is an interesting question. There are four months before the first Test match. It would be silly to not have conversations about our best top six, in terms of what order," Khawaja said at the launch of Prime Cafe in Melbourne.
    With Smith promoted to the top of the order, Cameron Green was brought into the playing XI to take up the role in the middle order. Travis Head is another option who could open alongside Khawaja, but he usually comes in at number five to provide batting depth.
    Ahead of the series against India, Khawaja doesn't expect to see a lot of changes in their set-up. He expects changes according to the venue that they play in, allowing them to field the best team against their opponents.
    "I do not expect the Australian team to change too much for the series. It has been a similar team for the last couple of years, except for Davey, going out. The top six and bowlers are settled. It would be about what selectors, coaches, and captain think about what is the best make-up of the team. The conversations are about what is the best team for this venue, who is the best bowler," Khawaja added.
    Australia's four-match Test series will kick off in Optus Stadium, Burswood on November 22. The series will conclude at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground with the final game beginning on December 26.