Before boarding the plane to Bangladesh the Aussie skipper talked with the media, where he termed Khawaja as a key player in Australia’s middle order and strongly hinted that the left hander will feature in the starting XI against Bangladesh in the 1st Test in Mirpur.
“I think Usman’s going to be a really big player for us this summer,” Smith said.“He’s done incredibly well in Australia over the last couple of years and it would be good for him to (play) some cricket. He’s chomping at the bit to get out there and I daresay he’ll get his opportunity.”
Khawaja was a star performer in the last Australian summer, scoring 50 plus in all six home Tests against South Africa and Pakistan. But a poor show in the Test series against Sri Lanka, lead to him being dropped from the side for the India Test series.
Smith has hinted that Khawaja might take the number three slot in the batting order and Smith will come down to number four.
“I’d say if Usman plays he’ll probably bat three and I’ll slot in at four,” he added.“I see Usman as more of a top-order batsman and I don’t really have a big issue, whether it’s three or four -– I won’t go lower than that.”
Australia last played a Test match against Bangladesh in 2006. The much awaited and momentous series is to start from August 27.