Usman Khawaja locked in for the Pink Test in Sydney

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Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins announced the Playing XI for the Sydney Test set to commence on January 5. Usman Khawaja will replace Travis Head in the team.

Cummins confirmed that Khawaja will replace Head who’s COVID-19 affected. He also gave an update that Josh Hazlewood will miss the game whereas Boxing Day hero Scott Boland has retained his place in the side after an impressive performance on his debut Test.

“Scotty gets a go, Joshy Hazlewood had a few bowls and with Jhye [Richardson] a bit similar,” Pat Cummins said at a press conference ahead of the fourth Test.

“It’s no secret that if Joshy Hazlewood was available then he was going to play,” 

“We gave Josh every chance we could, just felt like he couldn’t bowl at full tilt yesterday. We’re still hoping he’ll be right for Hobart,” he added.

Meanwhile, Sydney Test will mark Khawaja’s first Test since August 2019, when he featured in the third Ashes Test at Headingley, which England won by one wicket because of Ben Stokes’ match-winning century.

The 35-year-old was named in Australia’s 15-man squad for the first two Tests but did not make the team in Brisbane or Adelaide.

Australia led the five-match Test series 3-0 after winning all three matches, with Tests in Sydney and Hobart to come, but uncertainty surrounding the series due to COVID-19.

Australia Team for Sydney Test:

David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith (vice captain), Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins (captain), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland. 12th man to be named. 

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