Infotainment Factory: Test great unconvinced by 'pedestrian' Uzzie ton

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Sunday, 3 February 2019

Test great unconvinced by 'pedestrian' Uzzie ton


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Former Australian Test captain Ian Chappell says Usman Khawaja's second-innings century against Sri Lanka does nothing to help his Ashes hopes.

Khawaja broke out of a lengthy form slump by plundering an unbeaten 101 off just 136 deliveries in Australia's second innings, but Chappell was not impressed.

"If I was a selector that wouldn’t be making any difference to my thinking whether I had him in or out for England," he exclusively told Wide World of Sports.

"It was the second innings, with some pretty pedestrian bowling. If he had got the hundred in the first innings that would have meant something but not this one.

Usman Khawaja

"When the opposition is 300 runs behind it’s a hell of a lot different out there."

The 32-year-olds century was his first since a spirited 141 against Pakistan in Dubai and was his first against Sri Lanka.

While he had been out of form, Khawaja has been considered to be Australia's most important batsman, particularly in the absence of David Warner and Steven Smith.

However, Chappell said he wouldn't consider the left-hander as a part of Australia's squad in the Ashes.

Usman Khawaja

"I don’t think he’d be in my Ashes squad, but you know if he gets to play a whole lot of shield games and does well and others don’t do so well that might change things for him," he said.

"First of all, where are you going to have him in the field? He’s not a first slipper and I’m not convinced of him at number three.

"I think Steve Smith should be placed at three should he be selected once he comes back.

"He has his problems against spin bowling so it’s hard to put him too far down the order. So I think if he’s not batting at three it’s hard to fit him in, and I’d have Smith at three ahead of him."

Marcus Harris

Chappell also said the pressure was mounting on Marcus Harris to cement his spot after a pair of failures in Canberra.

"I’d have (Joe) Burns and Warner opening, Smith to come in at three, and you might take Harris as your reserve opener," he said.

"I think he’s going to have to do a little but more to get that position as well."

Khawaja's century helped Australia set a total of 516 for the Sri Lankans to chase over the final two days.

Former Australian Test captain Ian Chappell says Usman Khawaja's second-innings century against Sri Lanka does nothing to help his Ashes hopes.

Khawaja broke out of a lengthy form slump by plundering an unbeaten 101 off just 136 deliveries in Australia's second innings, but Chappell was not impressed.

"If I was a selector that wouldn’t be making any difference to my thinking whether I had him in or out for England," he exclusively told Wide World of Sports.

"It was the second innings, with some pretty pedestrian bowling. If he had got the hundred in the first innings that would have meant something but not this one.

Usman Khawaja

"When the opposition is 300 runs behind it’s a hell of a lot different out there."

The 32-year-olds century was his first since a spirited 141 against Pakistan in Dubai and was his first against Sri Lanka.

While he had been out of form, Khawaja has been considered to be Australia's most important batsman, particularly in the absence of David Warner and Steven Smith.

However, Chappell said he wouldn't consider the left-hander as a part of Australia's squad in the Ashes.

Usman Khawaja

"I don’t think he’d be in my Ashes squad, but you know if he gets to play a whole lot of shield games and does well and others don’t do so well that might change things for him," he said.

"First of all, where are you going to have him in the field? He’s not a first slipper and I’m not convinced of him at number three.

"I think Steve Smith should be placed at three should he be selected once he comes back.

"He has his problems against spin bowling so it’s hard to put him too far down the order. So I think if he’s not batting at three it’s hard to fit him in, and I’d have Smith at three ahead of him."

Marcus Harris

Chappell also said the pressure was mounting on Marcus Harris to cement his spot after a pair of failures in Canberra.

"I’d have (Joe) Burns and Warner opening, Smith to come in at three, and you might take Harris as your reserve opener," he said.

"I think he’s going to have to do a little but more to get that position as well."

Khawaja's century helped Australia set a total of 516 for the Sri Lankans to chase over the final two days.

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