Khawaja will challenge Ponting for no 3 slot, says Waugh

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

SYDNEY - Former Australian captain Steve Waugh is so impressed with debutant batsman Usman Khawaja that he feels the Pakistan-born might put skipper Ricky Ponting’s regular one-down slot in danger.

Seeing Khawaja bat on the first day of the fifth Ashes Test against England in Sydney Monday, Waugh said the southpaw will challenge Ponting for the number 3 position.

Khawaja scored a confident 37 before getting out to Graeme Swann.

“Ricky, look, he has been a great player at no. 3,” Waugh was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday.

“There is going to be a lot of opinion. Ricky has been a great no. 3 and probably will continue to be a great no .3 but Khawaja, the way he played, he has had such poise and he is definitely the future of Australian cricket going forward.”

“That (no.3 position) is going to be a tough call for selectors. That is why they are the selectors and I am not. They are going to make their call, not me, and they have got to sit together and work it out.

“I just like seeing someone debuting for Australia and doing well because I know how nervous you can be on the big stage.

“You are not guaranteed success so to go out and play so well, I was just happy for him,” said Waugh.

After the Sydney Test, Australia play their next-five day game against Sri Lanka in August.

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