Usman Khawaja has been a dilemma ever since he has made his international debut for Australia. Now with both Steve Smith and David Warner out of the side, Khawaja has a big chance to step up to fill in their spaces.
In the quest of using himself more for Australia, Khawaja has become more fitter and meaner on his health to start his process to success. Having debuted for Australia in 2011, Khawaja has played 33 Tests and 24 of the past 32 since his recall in November 2015.
"I got just about 7:30 in my 2km time trial, which is a PB. I did jump testing the other day and I jumped higher than I have before."
"So all the markers have been better than I've had for at least the last five years."
Prior to heading to South Africa in February, Khawaja spoke with Queensland strength and conditioning coach Paul Chapman, and Australian team physical performance coach Aaron Kellett about his fitness.
"I wanted to get fitter, lose a bit of weight and keep my strength," he explained. "I'd found it a bit difficult in the past few years, especially after coming back from my (knee reconstruction), to get in the work.
"It's always hard coming back from a major injury and it's only the last 12 months I've felt in a good place again, ready to go a bit harder."
"I did it all on my own pretty much," he said. "I had a month-and-a-half on my own (after South Africa) just doing fitness stuff, going to the gym."
"I had a space downstairs where I've set up my own gym now, I invested some money in that and it's great. I can just walk downstairs now, do what I want to do."
The 31-year-old spoke to Langer at length when he was overlooked for the June ODI tour of England, having publicly expressed his disappointment at the omission. Through those talks, he was able to gain some clarity about what is required of him as he looks to retain his place in the Test side for the upcoming two-match series against Pakistan in October.
"We had long conversations," Khawaja said. "He knew I was disappointed. We had some really good chats. I know the expectations, and I know where I stand" concluded Khawaja.