Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson Set to Play First Ashes Test

first_imgBirmingham: Australia head coach Justin Langer revealed Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson are set to play in the opening Ashes encounter on Thursday.“Usman Khawaja will definitely be in,” Langer told reporters here as quoted by www.cricket.com.au.“He’s fit, ready to go, he’s playing well.“He’s a seasoned pro for us, he averages 40-odd in Test cricket, his hammy (hamstring) is good, he’s running well, he’s passed all the fitness tests so he’s ready to go. He’ll bat No.3.”Commenting on Pattinson, Langer said: “It’s a great story isn’t it, coming back from where he was as a young bowler, the back surgeries, to more than likely being selected for this Test match, it’s a great story.”Khawaja passed a fitness test on his hamstring on Monday and will bat at No.3 in the first Test.Meanwhile, Australia’s star pacer Mitchell Starc is likely to miss out on a berth in the starting XI. Pattinson will likely to partner Pat Cummins with Starc and Josh Hazlewood fighting it out between them and Peter Siddle for the third pacers’ spot.“There’s probably three to be fair, Starcy, Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood, for one spot,” coach Langer was quoted as saying by The Australian.With 27 wickets, Starc was the highest wicket-taker at the just-concluded World Cup. He also picked up 22 wickets as Australia whitewashed England 4-0 in the previous Ashes series. (IANS)Also Read: Usman Khawaja, Alex Carey Push Australia to 243/9 Against Kiwislast_img

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