With Lehmann in is Khawaja next?

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    Usman Khawaja is one of the few Aussie cricketers that should be guaranteed selection for the rest of the summer. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

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    Usman Khawaja is seen as the unluckiest Australian cricketer going around at the moment but, with the appointment of Darren Lehmann as Australian cricket coach, his luck may be about to change.

    Under Lehmann’s guidance in Queenslandand, Khawaja has evolved into a successful shield player and was a key in Lehmann’s Ryobi Cup and Sheffield Shield wins.

    Khawaja has played six Tests with an average just under 30. This average is not impressive but could easily improve.

    Khawaja’s position in the Test team could feel more comfortable with Lehmann in the coach’s position. This might make it possible for him to repeat his shield form at an international level.

    Whether Lehmann has a place as a selector is yet to be seen, but if he does you would feel Khawaja would be one of the first in his team. Lehmann will be looking to make himself comfortable in the leadership position, he will do this by surrounding himself in familiar faces.

    Lehmann’s leadership will bring about changes in Australian cricket, hopefully good ones, but I am sure the inclusion of Khawaja will be one that is made.

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • June 26th 2013 @ 7:23am
      Jayvan Collins said | June 26th 2013 @ 7:23am | ! Report

      This is utter rubbish: “Lehmann will be looking to make himself comfortable in the leadership position, he will do this by surrounding himself in familiar faces”.

      The only thing that will make Lehmann feel comfortable in his current position is having the players that he believes will most likely perform for him and fit his model of what he wants the team to look and feel like.

      That comment is a cop out on the professionalism and the role of a coach. Do you think he felt ‘comfortable’ walking in the QLD sheds in his first week of coaching? I do and it would have had very little to do with the team sheet. It would’ve had everything to do with Boof knowing who he is, what he wants to achieve and knowing he has the support f the state selectors and the board of QLD cricket to do what needed to be done.

      • June 26th 2013 @ 7:52am
        Praveen said | June 26th 2013 @ 7:52am | ! Report

        Boof has been fantastic in Khawaja’s shield success this season but khawaja will
        Succeed on basis of runs, the only difference will be that unlike Arthur who found every excuse in te book to keep khawaja out, boof will actually reward runs and form an this applies to All the players

        • June 26th 2013 @ 8:18am
          Amith said | June 26th 2013 @ 8:18am | ! Report

          +1 Praven

          • June 26th 2013 @ 2:19pm
            Stephen said | June 26th 2013 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

            +2, he is the best young batsman in the country, just needs half the chance given to the other guys, with Arthur gone he just might get it

      • Roar Guru

        June 26th 2013 @ 7:56am
        nick richardson said | June 26th 2013 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        Ok Jayvan,
        I think calling what i said utter rubish is a bit much. It is your opinion and i respect that,but there is a big difference between the Qld shed’s and that of CA. He will not find it as easy as he did at Qld. The circumstances are different. He is now trying to save the most successful cricket nation ever. He is not going to a state team to just mildly improve on performances.

        • June 26th 2013 @ 11:52am
          Jayvan Collins said | June 26th 2013 @ 11:52am | ! Report

          I didn’t call your article rubbish. Just that quote. That quote is twoddle that frustrates the hell out of me. Yes, he will look to make himself comfortable but that has nothing to do with familiar faces.

          • June 27th 2013 @ 2:09am
            Jax said | June 27th 2013 @ 2:09am | ! Report

            @Jayvan – your logic translates to:

            I am just as comfortable in a room full of strangers as I am around my own family or closest friends.

            That doesn’t make any sense to me and I would quit now if I was you. You’re digging a nice hole for yourself there mate 🙂

        • Roar Rookie

          June 26th 2013 @ 12:39pm
          ShmaxShmillas said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

          I’m with jayvan. A coach picks the team that will win, not one that will make him feel comfortable. If he wanted to be comfortable he’ll be coaching his son Jake. Another question, why is he unlucky? What makes his shield campaign better than Hughes, Smith and Rogers for that matter? Everybody needs to stop jumping on his bandwagon and when he can overtake a retired has been a la Ponting in the sheffield shield this year, thats when I’ll take notice. Talent needs to equal success, not just be possessed and promise success.

      • June 27th 2013 @ 1:57am
        Jax said | June 27th 2013 @ 1:57am | ! Report

        @Jayvan – connect the dots please.

        Khawaja has already proven to Boof that he can do all of the things that you mentioned above. You are contradicting yourself.

        Boof & Khawaja have already been to the top of domestic cricket in all 3 versions of the game together ie they’ve climbed to the top of the mountain together once before, they obviously have a great working relationship and Khawaja flourished under his leadership.

        First thing that any good leader will do is bring in people that they have successfully worked with before (or an outsider they want to work with) but only if he thinks that they can add value to the new venture. Why waste time? Get your A-Team in immediately I say and if Boof thinks Khawaja is in his A-Team I support him.

        Boof knows 1st hand what Khawaja brings to the table under his leadership, it’s a proven winning formula so give it a try and drop some players to shake up this complacent team as quickly as possible.

        You have taken the word ‘comfortable’ completely out of context. Bottom line is that in Boof’s eyes Khawaja ticks all of the boxes on your list so of course he will give him an opportunity.

    • June 26th 2013 @ 7:57am
      cuzza said | June 26th 2013 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      Of course, If Khawaja had done his self-reflection in India he would already be playing.

      • June 26th 2013 @ 8:38am
        Red Kev said | June 26th 2013 @ 8:38am | ! Report

        Not a lot to reflect on when you’re sitting on the pine

        • June 26th 2013 @ 9:20am
          cuzza said | June 26th 2013 @ 9:20am | ! Report

          mmmm, not a team geam?

          • June 26th 2013 @ 11:31am
            Red Kev said | June 26th 2013 @ 11:31am | ! Report

            He’s not in the team, he’s on the sideline

            • June 26th 2013 @ 6:11pm
              cuzza said | June 26th 2013 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

              not part of a squad? cant reflect on the performance of the squad?

          • June 26th 2013 @ 9:14pm
            Lukeling said | June 26th 2013 @ 9:14pm | ! Report

            Is this a quote from Clockwork Orange??

        • June 26th 2013 @ 10:36am
          Amith said | June 26th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

          He has been on the bench for 8 months, its time he got his chance

          • June 26th 2013 @ 6:17pm
            cuzza said | June 26th 2013 @ 6:17pm | ! Report

            all he had to do was reflect, didnt even have to be in writing, could have been verbal. not that hard.

    • Roar Guru

      June 26th 2013 @ 8:09am
      DingoGray said | June 26th 2013 @ 8:09am | ! Report

      James Sutherland said in his press conference that the selectors on duty for the Ashes will be Lehmann and Rod Marsh.

      So I would then assume that certainly increases Usman’s chances of being selected as Lehmann is certainly a known supporter of Uzzie’s.

      I think Uzzie will still need to contribute in the warm up games, but it certainly does look promising.

      • June 26th 2013 @ 2:37pm
        Gr8rWeStr said | June 26th 2013 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

        I missed that Lehmann & Marsh were the tour selectors, that’s particularly interesting because, as far as I know, Inverarity is in the tour party but not involved in team selection. Does that mean he’s on the way out?

        Lehmann being in wont hurt Khawaja’s chances but his Australia A tour stats are unimpressive, av. 23.50 from 5 inn. with 1 NO, so he’ll need to earn his spot with some form.

        • June 26th 2013 @ 5:36pm
          John Edgar said | June 26th 2013 @ 5:36pm | ! Report

          Yes they are both selectors and Inevariy gets the deciding third vote if required.

    • June 26th 2013 @ 8:28am
      buddha9 said | June 26th 2013 @ 8:28am | ! Report

      He’ll get a chance and a fair opportunity, that’s the important thing — after that its up to him

    • Columnist

      June 26th 2013 @ 10:50am
      Brett McKay said | June 26th 2013 @ 10:50am | ! Report

      Khawaja needs a lot of runs in these next two tour matches, regardless of his relationship with the new coach…

      • Roar Guru

        June 26th 2013 @ 11:16am
        DingoGray said | June 26th 2013 @ 11:16am | ! Report

        The way it’s playing out (with announcement of side for warm up game tonight) and where Uzzie been used in the batting line up for the Australia A games, I believe that Usman and Hughes are currently about to commence a 2 game playoff for the one spot…….

        WINNER takes spot in Top 6 1st Test, loser sits on the Pine with Warner peeling oranges and running water!

        • June 27th 2013 @ 3:35am
          Baggy_Green said | June 27th 2013 @ 3:35am | ! Report

          Though i feel that Hughes is nothing but a waste of a batting spot(I would have had Bailey instead of him in this squad anytime), I think there is room for both Hughes and Khawaja..
          Think of – Cowan, Rogers,Hughes,Watto,Clarke,Khawaja,Haddin, bowlers

          I feel Davy Warner without match practise would score more than Hughes, then there is Smith and Wade(as a pure batsman)…nothing against Hughes, just that you get no confidence from his technique and mental strength..

      • June 26th 2013 @ 11:31am
        Felix said | June 26th 2013 @ 11:31am | ! Report

        Spot on Brett, he isn’t demanding selection like he was a little while ago. Granted a lack of game time whilst being in the squad as a cover batsman won’t have helped his form, but he’s had a few games and isn’t really piling on any pressure.

        If anyone is a smoky to get a call up I’d say Maddinson’s 180 would’ve leapfrogged him a few places.

        Interestingly I played golf with one of QLD’s young quicks last week. I actually asked him if he thought Usman would ever play a test again, he said it would be a travesty in this nation’s sporting history if he didn’t because “he is the classiest batsman he’s ever played with or against”.

        • Columnist

          June 26th 2013 @ 11:41am
          Brett McKay said | June 26th 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

          For what it’s worth Felix, I was known in my old club for being one of the best net batsmen going, but there’s one simple reason why my appearances in the top grade were limited.

          Khawaja can’t bank on his reputation any more, and he certainly can’t bank on a change of coach. His only currency – as has always been the case – is runs…

          • June 26th 2013 @ 12:48pm
            DJW said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

            I’m also a great net batsmen, in the middle not so much haha

          • Roar Rookie

            June 26th 2013 @ 12:57pm
            ShmaxShmillas said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:57pm | ! Report

            I’m all for this Brett. The man can’t rely on form he had two years ago. Its about the now, scenario hence Roger’s selection. Reputations are for wannabes, the real batsmen make runs whatever the situation.

            • June 26th 2013 @ 1:06pm
              Red Kev said | June 26th 2013 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

              Which means Warner is left out for lack of both discipline and form, Watson is left out for poor form, Cowan and Hughes are both on the borderline of being left out for poor form, and both Khawaja and Smith make the side.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 26th 2013 @ 1:36pm
                ShmaxShmillas said | June 26th 2013 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                I won’t lie, this would please me. What do you think of the following Red Kev? Rogers, Cowan,Hughes, Clarke, Smith (Who’s your submission for the final batting spot?) and the rest can sort itself out because bowling isn’t really the issue.

              • June 26th 2013 @ 2:28pm
                Red Kev said | June 26th 2013 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

                …both Khawaja and Smith make the side.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 26th 2013 @ 2:47pm
                ShmaxShmillas said | June 26th 2013 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

                ……..The man can’t rely on form he had two years ago. Cast your eyes past your affair with UTK, who else would you choose?

              • June 26th 2013 @ 4:15pm
                Red Kev said | June 26th 2013 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

                Ignoring the fact that both Hughes and Cowan are doing exactly that (relying of form from two years ago), the squad is what the squad is – there are eight batsmen and I would drop Warner and Watson, that leaves six.

          • June 26th 2013 @ 3:31pm
            Amith said | June 26th 2013 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

            He is not banking on reputation, he was the second highest shield scorer by christmas break after which he was kept as 12th man for the entire season and not allowed to play sheild games. I don’ tthink you can compare your own performance with a classy player such as UTK. Arthur was responsible for this mistreatment and i am glad its over now.

            • Columnist

              June 26th 2013 @ 4:51pm
              Brett McKay said | June 26th 2013 @ 4:51pm | ! Report

              Amith, you claim he’s not banking on reputation and then drop straight back onto quotting old news! That’s banking on reputation!!

              Khawaja needs runs, in England, this month. It’s that simple!!

              • June 26th 2013 @ 5:35pm
                John Edgar said | June 26th 2013 @ 5:35pm | ! Report

                Amith i wouldn’t waste time on Brett, he has always talked UTK down.

              • Columnist

                June 26th 2013 @ 8:23pm
                Brett McKay said | June 26th 2013 @ 8:23pm | ! Report

                John, once again you’re sorely mistaken. I’ve not always talked down Khawaja, in fact I wrote an article suggesting his one-day selection might be his making, only this January.

                What I talk down i the continued irrationality and non-logic that comes from the Khawaja supporters. And even now, the talk has gone from him being “deserving” to him being the next in line because of the coach! When you claim Clarke/Arthur favouritism, can you not see the dripping irony in suggestion that Khawaja is now a shoe-in because of Lehmann? HELLO!!

                And seriously, I don’t know how many times I’ve had to tell you I called for Hughes to be dropped in India!

              • June 26th 2013 @ 10:26pm
                Praveen said | June 26th 2013 @ 10:26pm | ! Report

                Brett lets agree that the batsman who go well in the warm up games deserve their spots, frustration with khawaja treatment had been his limited chances, like me you want Aussie team winning and khawJa doing well and lets hope he plays big part in the ashes campaign as he has the potential to be a solid test batsman if given half the chances Hughes and Cowsn have had

        • Roar Rookie

          June 26th 2013 @ 12:55pm
          ShmaxShmillas said | June 26th 2013 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

          I heard Cutting is pretty handy with a golf stick?

          • June 26th 2013 @ 5:12pm
            Felix said | June 26th 2013 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

            I’ve heard that too mate. Actually it was Cam Gannon, he and Ryan Harris are both members of the same club I play at, both really nice fellas. Hopes and Hauritz come out for a hit occasionally too, Hopes plays off about 1 and hits it stupid distances.

        • June 26th 2013 @ 2:24pm
          John Edgar said | June 26th 2013 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

          Felix its not only the Qld players who talk him up, Waugh, Border and many other respected retired players have spoken highly of him, the main issue was Arthur as he had his favorites and UTK wasn’t among them, i won’t go into why that was the case. Now he can finally get some sort of a hit which is all his fans are asking for.

          • June 26th 2013 @ 3:33pm
            Amith said | June 26th 2013 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

            Border, Waugh, Lehman and Chappell have all spoken highly of him, overseas both Amla and Gayle said that he can be a world class player if given a chance, even Mike Hussey endorsed him as his replacement but he has had 0 games since being in the Aus setup, time to put him in and give him the same chances the likes of Hughes and Cowan have had.

          • Columnist

            June 26th 2013 @ 4:53pm
            Brett McKay said | June 26th 2013 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

            Why though John, just becuase his state coach got a promotion?!? Isn’t that a coach playing favourites??

            He madeless than 100 runs for Aust A in three matches. He needs runs, pure and simple!

            • June 26th 2013 @ 5:27pm
              Pope Paul VII said | June 26th 2013 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

              Indeed he does, although he probably would have played at Mohali on not much form but for the homework thing.

              Also for all his modest ave of 29, it still exceeds that of Marsh, Watson, Quiney, Watson ( again ) and Hughes the position he was last seen at, no.3, since he was dropped.

            • June 26th 2013 @ 5:34pm
              John Edgar said | June 26th 2013 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

              Brett its interesting you don’t mention anything about Clarke’s favoitism towards Hughes, like it or not Hughes has had the entire Sri Lanka and India series and looks as fragile as he did in his last 2 attempts. Do you think Khawaja would have had a chance to survive if he had a similar series in India, Khawaja would have been lucky to get 2 games in a row, so lets pass judgement fairly on players, the only other batsman who had worst treatment was my fellow victorian Hodgy, Khawaja’s treatment has been terrible and i am glad we now have a coach who realises his value.

              • Columnist

                June 26th 2013 @ 8:25pm
                Brett McKay said | June 26th 2013 @ 8:25pm | ! Report

                I called for Hughes to be dropped in India, John!

              • June 26th 2013 @ 10:29pm
                Praveen said | June 26th 2013 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

                Brett one fair point John makes is Clarkes close relationship with Hughes, hence why not have a articl titled with Clarke as captain is Hughes next, put it simply let’s focus on runs as you mentioned and those that score deserve to play this series

      • June 26th 2013 @ 2:13pm
        Praveen said | June 26th 2013 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

        I am sure khawaja will score well in the warm up games, he has had less then a third of the chances Hughes has had so I would out him in ahead of Hughes if he outscores him in the warm ups

      • June 27th 2013 @ 2:17am
        Jax said | June 27th 2013 @ 2:17am | ! Report

        I disagree, runs is only one way to measure a persons contribution. Granted it is the most important one but ‘requiring’ him to do it in two warm-up matches ‘or else’ is way off the mark.

        This team has been in disarray for a long time and you don’t suddenly flick a switch and expect it all to magically change within two matches. It will take time to rebuild this team and Boof needs people that are in it for the long haul on his side and I think Khawaja may just be one of them.

        In saying all of this I do agree that it’s time for everyone to bring their a-game in all areas on this tour, on and off-field, starting now!

        • June 27th 2013 @ 6:51pm
          Praveen said | June 27th 2013 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

          Well said jaxx

      • June 28th 2013 @ 4:35am
        Rabbits said | June 28th 2013 @ 4:35am | ! Report

        Brett, I’ve critical in the past of your take on Khawaja but I’m starting to see things your way. UK needs to score runs. That’s all there is to it.

    • June 28th 2013 @ 11:55am
      Sydney Kiwi said | June 28th 2013 @ 11:55am | ! Report

      Plenty of room for Khawaja now Watson is opening and Warner is out.
      Watson, Cowan, Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Khawaja, Haddin, Siddle, Patterson, Harris, Lyon.- has a good look to it.
      The question is where Warner fits in when he returns? #4 with Cowan to the bench and batting order move up one?

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