PAK vs AUS 2018: Ricky Ponting endorses Usman Khawaja's inclusion in the playing XI

Australia play a two Test match series against Pakistan in the UAE.

Usman Khawaja. (Sky Sports)

In the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner from the Australian squad for the series against Pakistan, former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has endorsed for Usman Khawaja's inclusion in the playing XI for both the Tests. 

Australia play a two-Test match series against Pakistan under the leadership of Tim Paine as they are looking to paint an new era of Australian cricket under him. 

The former Test captain sympathises with Khawaja, who sat on the sidelines during Australia's series in India last year before being axed after a single Test on the Bangladesh tour that followed.

"There's been lots of different discussions over the last couple of years about Khawaja and how to get the get the best out of him," Ponting told "(People wonder), 'is he an Australian Test match player only? Do we just not pick him on the subcontinent?'"

"I just think you've got to keep picking him – with Warner and those guys out, he's clearly our best batsman by a street.

"The more he can play in those conditions, the more he'll start to work it out.

"It's difficult. I was a bit the same; the first few tours I had to India, I struggled. But the more I played, the more I learned about how I was going to survive and how I was going to cope. The last couple of tours I had there were some of the best I ever had.

"Someone like Uzzie, he's been in and out, he's played the start of a series over there and got dropped but then been picked as soon as he's got back to Australia."

"I just think he's had a lot of uncertainty about where he's at. I was even a bit surprised that they didn't play him in this last game in India (during the Australia A series). He was over there in India, he'd done well and then they don't play him."

"He's a class player, no doubt about that. The more secure he can probably feel in his own mind, we'll see him get better and better."

Australia Test squad:

Tim Paine (c), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc

Tour schedule

Sep 29 - Oct 2: Tour match v Pak A, Dubai

Oct 7-11: First Test, Dubai

Oct 16-20: Second Test, Abu Dhabi


By Anshuman Roy - 13 Sep, 2018

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